Raw Chocolate Bark with Goji’s, Hemp Seeds & Coconut

raw chocolate barkOn Saturday, I’ll be supplying some delicious, healthy treats for a SOUL Food event hosted by my friend’s amazing event planning company, Soulscape Journeys. What I love so much about Soulscape is that their focus is on supporting and promoting holistic wellness through empowerment, raising consciousness and building community. I think it’s a beautiful mission.

For this particular event, they are hosting best-selling author, Alexandra Jamieson. Her book, “Women, Food & Desire” focuses on cravings and “how to embrace them, make peace with food, and embrace our bodies”.  So we’ll be exploring our different cravings type and sampling some foods accordingly.

One of the treats I am preparing is raw chocolate. And while I’m not a huge sweets person (really good, homemade bread is my love and my nemesis!), dark chocolate is something I love to have as a sweet treat once in awhile.

What’s great about dark chocolate vs. other sweets is that if you’re using raw cacao – not processed cocoa – it’s actually incredibly healthy for you. Raw cacao is highly antioxidant fighting off all those free radicals that can cause damage to our cells. It’s also high in magnesium, which regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA. Thus, why cacao is in the category of “superfoods”.

And while there is some sugar in this recipe, I used organic, grade B maple syrup, which is unrefined and contains good amounts of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc. So if you’re going to have a sweet treat, maple syrup is a better choice of sweetener than most.

I also added in goji berries, hemp seeds (or powder) and shredded coconut. Goji’s are great for boosting the immune system and protecting our eyes as they are packed with Vitamins A & C, iron, and calcium and are also a great source of fiber and a contain bit of protein.

Hemp seeds are incredibly high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also a good source of iron and the highly antioxidant Vitamin E. Sprinkle these guys on your salads, yogurt or put in your smoothies for an extra nutritional punch.

And while coconut may not pack in the nutrition as much as the goji’s or hemp seeds, they are considered by most a healthy fat. One reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Just use in moderation!

Bottom line: This sweet treat is quick & easy to make, amazingly delicious and is also pretty much guilt free. So go ahead and savor each bite and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Bark with Goji’s, Hemp Seeds & Coconut
Recipe Type: Desserts
Cuisine: Dairy-Free / Vegan
Author: Briana Ryan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 225 grams (solid) cacao butter (8 oz. bag)
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons, organic grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 large vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/3 cup goji berries
  • 1 rounded tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 rounded tablespoon hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. Place a rimmed cookie sheet lined with tin foil in the freezer while prepping the chocolate.
  2. Next, melt the cacao butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Measure out the cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, star anise and sea salt into a medium bowl and whisk until the ingredients are fully combined. Pour the melted cacao butter into the bowl and whisk in until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the chilled foil-lined baking sheet. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before adding the toppings.
  5. First, sprinkle the chocolate with the goji berries, then with the hempseeds, then the coconut.
  6. Transfer the chocolate to the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove and break into pieces with your hand.
  7. Place broken chocolate in container and keep in fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Will keep for a couple of weeks. But be mindful, don’t leave the chocolate out or it will melt!

 

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