You know what I have found surprising?
That throughout this entire month of January I was able to stick with my goal of showing you all healthy, colorful recipes, AND that these healthy recipes have also been some of my FAVORITE recipes to date. I guess this isn’t actually all that surprising, since I truly love healthy foods. But since I cook for the people around me, I also end up cooking a lot of meats, grains and um CHEESE…but I really don’t mind, especially the grains and cheese, and duh, obviously the chocolate too!
So we’ve made it to the last week in January, and you guys… I don’t plan on stopping the healthy eats here. I’ve always tried to have a good balance of healthy to decadent foods here on the blog… and don’t worry, decadent will be back… next week, with lots of fun Super Bowl eats. I can’t lie, I’m pretty excited to show you all those recipes too!!
Anyway, let me tell you about this superfood bark. I don’t have a whole lot of rambling time today since Asher is literally demanding my attention. Clearly I am having a hard time balancing the whole sister watching and work doing thing. The struggle is REAL guys.
SIDE NOTE: I totally got to pull out Asher’s tooth the other night. That was a first for me. I think I have pulled a few of my own baby teeth, but that was a long while ago. The girl was PUMPED (this is only her second tooth that has fallen out), and I’m so excited for the tooth fairy to come! I have to say, I was pretty excited to get to BE the tooth fairy too. BUT… then she fell asleep, and I went into work mode and forgot all about the stupid tooth. OH NO! The poor girl woke up to nothing under her pillow and I felt so bad. I made up some excuse that the tooth fairy takes Saturday night off and that he would come on Sunday. And then I went out and bought a new sparkly nail polish and put that + a dollar under her pillow to make up for it. Thankfully that worked and she was very pleased come Monday morning. Few.
Ok,so back to this superfood chocolate quinoa bark!
The bark is KILLER in so many ways. For one, it’s full of all the things that are best for our bodies… quinoa, seeds, nuts, maple syrup (or honey), coconut oil, coffee (if you are into it, which I so am, I love the flavor it adds), and super dark chocolate. Second, it’s SO incredibly quick and easy to make. You just add all the ingredients to a pot and set it over the stove until they are melted together. Then stir in all the dry ingredients until combined. Spread everything out into an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp. Top with chocolate and then chill to allow the chocolate to set.
Done and DONE.
I got a little fancy and added some cacao nibs + dried rose hips to the top of the chocolate, but you could add flaky sea salt, another drizzle of chocolate or whatever sounds good to you. Totally adaptable to your tastes, or whatever you might have on hand.
And it’s as simple as that. For those of you wondering about using raw quinoa, I know if sounds weird, but I promise it works for this recipe. The quinoa gets toasted and caramelized in the oven. The end result is perfectly crunchy and sweet quinoa. Basically, we’re treating the quinoa just like the seed that it is (yes, quinoa is technically a seed and not a grain) and toasting it like you would any other seed.
Just try it, you guys will love this healthy dessert! It’s perfect for when a sweet craving hits but you don’t want like… a giant piece of chocolate cake… OK so you probably really do want a giant piece of chocolate cake, BUT you don’t really want to go there. This is the treat to satisfy those cravings and leave you feeling amazing from the inside out.
Completely corny, but it’s actually so true!! Example: my mother is currently on this kick of no added sugars. She’s convinced that cutting way back on sugar will keep her moving till she’s at least 100 (she’s insane like that). Well, maybe not? Anyway, she CANNOT live without chocolate, she just physically cannot do it, so she has been loving this bark (and all the other chocolate treats I’ve shared this month… especially the one coming up on Friday!). This bark is her GO-TO after lunch treat, and I’m right there with her.
It is kind of addictive.
Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Bark.
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (either works great I like the maple flavor I think best)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (optional but I LOVE the flavor)
- good pinch of flaky sea salt
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed + dried
- 1/2 cup raw almonds roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup mixed raw seeds (I used hemp seeds flax seeds, chia seeds + sesame seeds)
- 12 ounces vegan or dark chocolate chopped (I like to use 92% dark chocolate)
- Cacao nibs + dried roses for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large microwave safe bowl, melt together the honey or maple and coconut oil on power level high, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth (this took about 1 minute for me). Whisk in the vanilla, coffee granules and salt.
Add the quinoa, almonds, cashews and mixed seeds. Stir until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated in the wet ingredients. Spread the mixture out in an even, thin layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the the bark is golden in color and crisp. You'll know the bark is done when the cashews and quinoa look caramelized and are a deep golden brown in color.
While the bark is baking, melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, heating on 30 second intervals and stirring after each interval until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread the melted chocolate over the bark in an even layer. Sprinkle with cacao nibs.
Place the pan in the fridge to set, about 30 minutes (or the freezer for 15). Remove and break into pieces. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
I mean, clearly.