NEW YEAR INTENTIONS: Healthy Sweet Treats, Chocolate Bark 2 Ways| Pecan Ginger Chocolate Bark and Toasted Quinoa Maple Almond Chocolate Bark


Happy New Year!

I know I have been remiss in posting since the holidays. The holidays sucked the life out of me, especially with our new shop and holiday sales (see above link and also on Etsy!) then the creeping crud 'plague' hit our house, which has knocked us out one by one. Today is the first day I am at least sitting up out of bed-which is why I am finally able to get you these amazing recipes to kick off your new year healthy eating aspirations.

This week started out cleaner, healthier eating at our house, and I love prepping for the week on Sundays so I can stay on track. It helps to have a menu, and it helps to have healthy snacking things nearby if you are a "grazer" like I am. So on Sundays, I cut up carrots, boil green beans for dipping, make healthy yogurt dips and spreads, and line up my sweet treats for nighttime desserts.

One of my favorite sweet treats is dark chocolate bark. The sugar is lower in dark chocolate (aim for 70% cocoa) and you can pump up flavor and satisfaction with crunchy grains or nuts, and sweeten the deal with dried berries and fruit. One recipe makes a few weeks worth (if you behave), so it's worth the time. You can store the bark in an air tight container and keep it on the counter or in the refrigerator. One piece is enough to tide you over, trust me! 

Here is to a healthier us in 2019!


Pecan Ginger Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:
8 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 1 /2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in a microwave at 50% power for one minute. Mix, then continue melting in 30-minute increments at 50% power, until smooth and completely melted. Mix in the grated ginger. Pour onto the parchment, and spread evenly until 1/4" thick. Sprinkle with pecans evenly, then sea salt. Gently press down everything with the palm of your hand, then let set up for a few hours. Break into bite-sized pieces and store in airtight bags in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.

Toasted Quinoa Maple and Almond Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:
8 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne (optional)
3 Tbsp. white quinoa
1 Tbsp. flax seeds
1 tsp. real maple syrup
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, toast the quinoa until grains are popping and beginning to turn brown. Once you hear the popping, count about 10 seconds, stirring consistently, then pour into a small bowl. Return pan back to the flame and toast the flax for about 1-2 minutes, until brown and popping. Turn off the flame, and return the quinoa back to the pan. Drizzle with maple syrup and mix until crispy clumps form. Let cool in pan, it will become like a brittle.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in a microwave at 50% power for one minute. Mix, then continue melting in 30-minute increments at 50% power, until smooth and completely melted. Mix in the cinnamon, cayenne then pour onto the parchment, and spread evenly until 1/4" thick. Take the quinoa and crumble the brittle in your hand as you sprinkle it evenly over the chocolate. Sprinkle the almonds evenly, then the sea salt. Gently press down everything with the palm of your hand, then let set up for a few hours. Break into bite-sized pieces and store in airtight bags in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.


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