When I was growing up, I went to an old-school dermatologist who told me never to eat chocolate.
Dark chocolate was not readily available back then, so he might have actually had a point given that any chocolate bar at the corner store was full of sugar, hydrogenated oil, and contained very little real cacao.
Fortunately, things have changed! I’m here to tell you that you can forget what you may have heard about chocolate ruining your skin.
I still don’t recommend loading up on corner store chocolate bars, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in some dark chocolate. In fact, you might actually say there are some benefits to enjoying a dark chocolate treat. That’s because chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (70% or more) contains flavanols that provide powerful antioxidant properties.(1) Studies also suggest that dark chocolate may play a positive role in cardiovascular health and insulin resistance.(1)
Best of all, when you mix high quality dark chocolate with other goodies like nutrient-dense nuts, seeds and coconut you have the added bonus of introducing even more health benefits.(2)
By now you’ve probably got a dark chocolate craving happening, so let’s get to a recipe that’s sure to satisfy it! This brittle is seriously delicious and healthy enough to enjoy at breakfast. Does it get any better than that?
- 1½ cups raw nuts/seeds (I like chopped brazil nuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds) *
- ¾ cup desiccated/shredded or flaked coconut
- 7 ounces dark/bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%)
- 3 ounces (gently warmed) coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons agave, honey or maple syrup
- ⅔ cup mixed dried berries (I like cranberries, currants, raisins, goji, blueberries and tart cherries)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) **
- a sprinkling of Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the nuts and coconut over an unlined baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes (or until you can see the coconut turning golden). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and pop into a heatproof bowl with the coconut oil, sweetener of your choice and cayenne. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir to melt.
- Transfer the cooled nuts to a large mixing bowl, add the dried fruit and melted chocolate.
- Mix well then spread the mixture in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with a little Himalayan sea salt.
- Put the baking sheet in the fridge to harden the chocolate for 1 hour.
- Once hardened, break it up or cut it into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
* If you’re allergic to nuts, just add more coconut flakes or dried fruits.
** Cayenne pepper adds a nice little burst of flavour but is not required