!Recipe: Choco love bark

[glorious mouth-watering photo of dark chocolate sprinkled with slivered almonds in a heart shaped pan here… yeah, my camera is broken…]

–Quick note: I say “stupid simple ___” not because anybody is stupid. I just like making things as simple and easy and fun as possible. Chronic illness is none of those things. But to me, “stupid simple” is. Balances stuff out in my brain. Hope my weird sense of humor is okay.–

Choco love bark

Don’t worry about this chocolate. It’s nothing like your childhood Halloween spoils. It loves you back. Adapted from the INCREDIBLE recipe by Angela at Oh She Glows.

Stupid Simple Ingredients
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp raw honey (just what I have… feel free to use any form of sugar you’d like)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder (you could use cacao powder, or whatever fancy thing you need to use/can afford. i’m currently good with regular cocoa powder from Aldi)
sprinkle of salt
1/2 cup nuts, your preference (I used slivered almonds, but forreal, you could use pretty much anything. you could even add dried apricots or something. go wild!)

Stupid Simple Tools
medium bowl
whisk
baking sheet (or glass dish, or something like it. whatever’s clean, really)
wax paper (I’ll try foil and parchment paper for you and see if that works too)

Stupid Simple Steps

  1. Melt coconut oil and honey.
  2. Whisk in vanilla and cocoa powder until you have a gloriously smooth chocolate mixture.
  3. Place wax paper on baking sheet.
  4. Pour glorious chocolate mixture onto paper.
  5. Sprinkle salt over the chocolate, and then sprinkle on the nuts
  6. Freeze for 5 minutes, probably less, ’til it’s hard and you can break it apart and EAT IT!!

***

Sugar is evil.

Oh sure, its tasty. And in reasonable amounts, especially if you’re not already sick, it’s not going to hurt you.

But if you’re like me, struggling with chronic illness, and can’t resist binging sugary foods, it compounds your inflammation and messes up your insulin levels. The resulting metabolic disease and aggravation of whatever else ya got going on is the ultimate Faustian deal:  sell your health for sweet.

Literary allusions aside, sugar is much more dangerous than we’ve all been led to believe. And “natural” or unrefined sugars can do the same damage.

In addition to avoiding allergens, most people I know also feel much better avoiding excessive amounts of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 28 grams a day, which, in American cooking terms, amounts to only 6 teaspoons. Not very much, given how many “healthy” recipes and packaged foods are spiked with sugar. I don’t even buy cereal anymore, because the box is gone in less than two days.

Hence why today’s recipe exists. When I found Angela’s Oh She Glows recipe, I was initially disheartened by the sugar content. It happens a lot when I’m looking for a specific recipe, and keep finding ones with ingredients I can’t have. So I wondered:  if I just reduced the added sugar, would I have “dark chocolate”?

And oh yes, I did =)  Hope you enjoy!

***

 

Bonus:  Chattier Stupid Simple Steps, If You Like this Sort of Nonsense
1. If your kitchen isn’t burning hot like mine, so your coconut oil isn’t already melted, melt your coconut oil and honey. Stove is fine, or like, the microwave is easier. It’s gonna be okay. Whisk in the vanilla.

2. Add the cocoa powder little by little and whisk. Especially if you have only a tiny bowl like me. The mixture is gonna have the consistency and appearance of chocolate syrup, which is a feast in itself for your eyeballs.

3. Cover your baking sheet with wax paper (or, you know, whatever you have). It’s no big deal if it’s cut precisely to fit, or if the edges go beyond the pan. I’ve tried both ways, it’s cool.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the paper. Save your effort for this step only. It does work best for the chocolate to sit on top of the paper, and not underneath. But if it happens, it just means you get to pick chocolate off the pan and eat it while you watch TV. Still a win.

5. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the chocolate, and then the nuts all over. Fun part! If you don’t like nuts, add none! If you love em, load it up!

6. Place in freezer. Coconut oil hardens almost immediately, so it’s probably ready already. But to be safe, you could time it for 5 minutes, or something.

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