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This “Healthy Superfood Dark Chocolate Bark” is guilt free, satisfies a sweet tooth, and is basically the ultimate answer to your chocolate lovin’ prayers! Whipped up in less than 10 minutes and laden with antioxidant rich superfoods, it’s hard to believe that this dark chocolate bark can be considered a dessert! Chocolate bark is easy to customize with your own favorite toppings, and it makes a beautiful (and budget friendly) holiday gift as well!
I know, I know- ’tis the season for baking with cookies, pies, and holiday sweet breads galore. And don’t get me wrong, I go “there”… believe me I DO! But as we all know, eating sweets without any pause definitely takes a toll on your body.
During the holiday season, where indulgent goodies are abundant at every turn I like to try to find more waist-line friendly ways to satisfy the sweet tooth cravings while not compromising on your health.
This recipe for Healthy “Super Food” Dark Chocolate Bark is just the answer!
Healthy Dark Chocolate Bark Ingredients :
Dark chocolate/bittersweet morsels (62-75% Cocoa)– The darker the better! Research has show that consuming dark chocolate with cocoa content to 70% or higher has the most health benefits. Containing polyphenols, antioxidants, and epicatechin dark chocolate can lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. Also it reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, and elevates nitric oxide in the blood.
Coconut oil unrefined, virgin– I added coconut oil to the chocolate to give it a bit thinner and more spreadable consistency when melted. Adding the coconut oil will also make it harden a little faster. I only used unrefined, virgin coconut oil to maximize health benefits
Roasted Almonds: I like to use whole roasted almonds, as that is the powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the outer layer of the skin.
Chia Seeds: Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.
Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Pomegranate Arils: Pomegranate seeds, or arils, are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds. They taste so juicy and refreshing in the dark chocolate bark. They burst with sweet flavor.
Dried Turkish Apricots– Another fruit high in antioxidants, apricots are an excellent source of beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E.
Espresso Morsels: You could also use chocolate covered espresso beans. While this I wouldn’t say is a “health food”, I added it because I just love the way that coffee and chocolate compliment each other, and they are a fun and unexpected flavor punch.
Other Healthy Topping Suggestions:
Candied ginger, orange or lemon pieces
Other dried fruits: cranberries, figs, cherries, pineapple, or freeze dried strawberries
Other nut/seed varieties- cashew, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
Himalayan Sea Salt
Equipment Needed To Make Dark Chocolate Bark:
You will need a double boiler to melt the chocolate. They do sell complete double boiler sets, which can be quite useful to have on hand, or you can just improvise using a heat safe melting pot like this one nestled over a pot you already own
I also highly recommend using a silpat silicone baking sheet. They are truly a bakers best friend, I held off on buying one for a long time and just recently pulled the trigger when I saw a deal at Costco. Honestly, I’m so glad I did! They eliminate the need for pre measuring crinkly parchment, using butter, oils and nonstick sprays, and promote even heat distribution when baking. Using the silpat for chocolate bark is the perfect tool for even spreading and ease of removing after chocolate has cooled.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Bark
First, gather and prepare all the toppings for the bark. It would be wise to get all the topping together before the chocolate is melted so you can layer them on before the chocolate hardens.
To melt the chocolate we will be using the double boiler method. Place about 2 inches of water in saucepan and nest heat safe bowl over top. Water should not touch the bottom of bowl at any point. You want to use steam from boiling water to gently melt the chocolate. Not scorch it.
Add chocolate morsels and 1 tbsp of coconut oil to bowl and over low-medium heat, bring water to simmer.
Use a rubber spatula to stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted.
Pour onto baking sheet lined with rubber silpat or parchment paper and use spatula to spread into a thin even layer. Don’t worry if edges aren’t perfect, it won’t matter in the end. You want to work with a little urgency so the melted chocolate doesn’t start to harden before toppings are applied.
Scatter the toppings on the melted chocolate.
Let chocolate cool in fridge for at least 2 hours before breaking. If you are leaving on counter to harden, try to take to a room between 60-65° and let sit for up to 6 hours before touching.
When chocolate is ready, peel off silpat or parchment paper and break into desired size pieces.
Keep in airtight container in cool place, storing in the fridge can cause condensation on the chocolate so is not recommended.
Healthy “Superfood” Dark Chocolate Bark
- 12 oz dark chocolate/bittersweet morsels 62-75% cocao
- 1 tbsp coconut oil unrefined, virgin
- ¼ cup roasted almonds chopped or sliced
- ⅛ cup chia seeds
- ⅛ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup dried Turkish apricots chopped
- ¼ cup Tollhouse espresso morsels chopped
- Gather and prepare all the toppings for the bark. Set aside for now
- Melt chocolate using the double boiler method- Place about 2 inches of water in saucepan and nest heat safe bowl over top. Water should not touch the bottom of bowl at any point. You want to use steam from boiling water to gently melt the chocolate. Not scorch it.
- Add chocolate morsels and 1 tbsp of coconut oil to bowl and over low-medium heat, bring water to simmer.
- Using rubber spatula, stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted.
- Pour onto baking sheet lined with rubber silpat or parchment paper and use spatula to spread into a thin even layer. Don't worry if edges aren't perfect, it won't matter in the end. You want to work with a little urgency so the melted chocolate doesn't start to harden before toppings are applied.
- Scatter the toppings on the melted chocolate.
- Let chocolate cool in fridge for at least 2 hours before breaking. If you are leaving on counter to harden, try to take to a room between 60-65° and let sit for 6 hours before touching.
- When chocolate is ready, peel off silpat or parchment paper and break into desired size pieces.
- Keep in airtight container in cool place, storing in the fridge can cause condensation on the chocolate.