• Caroline Young

Dark Chocolate Bark with dates, berries & nuts

So, the holidays are upon us. For me, it’s usually a time of joy with a mixture of unnecessary stress and pressure, whether that comes from family life, work life, or just, because this is traditionally a busy time.

But, this year, I am working on doing less and slowing down, instead of getting caught up in the business of the season. I tend to pile my plate high, in all aspects of my life (and not just this time of year), because I just want to do everything.

From observation, some people thrive under pressure and love being busy, busy, busy. Me? Nope. I shut down and forget how to function when I’m spread too thin.

So, for myself, and those around me, I decided to work on letting go of “doing it all” as we approach the end of 2016. Staying “too busy” has really lost its appeal to me at a pretty young age. Instead, I’ve been working on making the choice to actually enjoy the holiday season this year, by finding some balance between doing and not doing.

Along with that, I went really low-maintenance with my homemade treats I like to give out during the holidays. But, don’t get me wrong. They are delicious, low-maintenance treats nonetheless. I mean, really, how could dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruit and some fancy salt NOT taste good together? Plus, this bark is packed with antioxidants from the chocolate and fruit, and healthy (unsaturated) fats from the nuts. So, if you need a quick, last minute treat to make for yourself or your loved ones, this bark gives you a great combo. of tasty and nourishing.

Below, you’ll see the ingredients I chose for this recipe. The dark chocolate you choose doesn’t matter all that much — just make sure it’s pretty good quality. I made it with Ghirardelli and the brand shown here:

You can make this your own by using any other nuts (like chopped walnuts or almonds). I really love the earthiness of the peanuts and the color of the pistachios (especially for Christmas), but it’s totally up to you.

Also, I’m a fan of the cranberries because they’re red and look pretty, but choose any dried fruit that you’d like (chopped apricots, blueberries, etc.). I also added dates to mine because I can’t get enough of them — I feel like they make this bark more delicious.

And, if you’re like me, you may be kind of clueless about finishing salt. It’s just fancy salt, and I chose one called Fleur de sel (which means “flower of salt”). I found it at Cook’s Warehouse. But feel free to use any other finishing salt you’d like. It definitely adds a nice touch. And the Crystallized ginger can be found at most groceries, although Publix was out and I ended up getting it at Trader Joe’s.


Oh, and a note on yield and serving size: I did not include it for this recipe because it really varies, depending on how big your pieces are when you break the bark apart. I made about 8 gift bags full of around 4 or 5 small- to medium-sized pieces of bark, for reference.

Enjoy! And Happy Holidays to you. I hope you find some time to chill out a bit, and do some things that really nourish you (aside from eating this bark).

With love and light,

Caroline

Dark Chocolate Bark with dates, berries & nuts

2016-12-21 13:49:33

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Prep Time

20 min

Total Time

50 min

Prep Time

20 min

Total Time

50 min

Ingredients

  1. 10-12 ounces dark chocolate bar

  2. 1.5 tablespoons dried cranberries

  3. 1.5-2 tablespoons chopped dates

  4. 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

  5. 1 tablespoons chopped peanuts

  6. 1.5 tablespoon chopped crystalized ginger

  7. 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. Boil pot of water, then reduce to a simmer.

  2. Place dark chocolate in a stainless steel bowl or pan on top of the pot.

  3. Let the chocolate begin to melt, then stir continuously until it's fully melted.

  4. Pour chocolate onto a pan covered with foil.

  5. With a spatula or spoon, spread the chocolate evenly on the pan.

  6. Top with dried fruit, nuts, ginger and fleur de sel.

  7. Place pan in the refrigerator and let cool until it's hardened, or about 30 minutes.

  8. Break bark into pieces and you've got your treats!

Whole Self Nutrition http://www.thewholeyogird.com/

#treats #peanuts #dessert #holiday #snack #ginger #darkchocolate #berries #pistachios #Christmas #nuts

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