Chocolate Almond Bark

Well…sort of. It’s a little softer than actual bark…but it is soooo melty and delicious I’m pretty sure you won’t care what I call it. We can call it soft bark…or sark if that’s better for you. Chocolate Almond Sark.

But guys!  I MADE chocolate!  I know what you’re probably thinking…are you some sort of wizard?  How can you possibly create something so delicious from nothing? Well-I’m going to tell you, you lucky duck.

Oh-I’m also going to tell you it’s good for you.  That’s right.  Not broccoli good for you, but let’s say this: Cacao nibs have fibre, magnesium and antioxidants.  They can also improve your mood (obviously..hello, chocolate!). Coconut oil contains lauric acid that can kill bacteria and viruses.  Maple syrup contains antioxidant compounds and is absorbed more slowly in the body than refined white sugar.  It’s also the tastiest stuff around.  Oh-and it comes from a tree, how can that really be bad for you? Almonds lower cholesterol and lower the risk of weight gain.  Boom.  This snack just made you healthier…and probably more attractive.

So I had some raw cacao nibs.  Some WHAT? RAW CACAO NIBS.  These are what cocoa is made from everyone (the cocoa with no added sugar, not hot chocolate mix-that would be too amazing).  They don’t taste good on their own.  Even though they sort of look like chocolate chips. They are not. Trust me. DON’T BE FOOLED. Certainly need some sweetness. Anyway, I knew I had to make something out of them and so I tried THIS:

1 cup raw cacao nibs
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted.
1 cup real maple syrup
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups roasted almonds

First thing, I roast my own almonds.  I find the raw almonds usually cheaper, and roasting is ridiculously easy. Throw the almonds on a baking sheet and in the oven at 425.  Watch them closely.  If you smell them, or start to see them get dark and crack, take them out!  Usually about 8-10 minutes.
But if you have some that are already roasted, hooray!

How to do it:
Blend the cacao nibs in a food processor.  It takes a few minutes for them to really grind up.  You want them to be like coffee grounds, pretty fine.

Next, add the coconut oil. You don’t need to be fancy and add it while it’s running but if it makes you feel like you’re in a cooking show, feel free. I do that sometimes.

Next the maple syrup.  Same deal.  And the vanilla….and the salt.  I know, this is a really simple recipe.

Stir in the almonds.  I couldn’t even wait for them to cool so apparently that’s not a big deal.

I threw some parchment paper in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and poured the mixture in.  I stuck it in the fridge and let it set up…this happened pretty quickly!  You could put it in the freezer too.

And I’d say after about 30 minutes or so…you’ve got your almond sark!

WARNING: This WILL melt in your hands (although I ate it so fast it didn’t really have time)…

P.S.  Chocolate can be good for you-this is just one example!  Enjoy and know you’re doing your body good. It is possible to treat yourself and have it be good for you too. Just don’t leave it on the counter…messy.