The holidays are officially over and so are the days of Oreo peppermint bark (my thighs rejoice). I couldn't help but throw around ideas of a healthier version of bark that I can enjoy year round. I try and steer clear of store bought chocolate bars that are packed full of sugar and other nutrient void foods, but there's no way I can cut chocolate out completely! It seriously makes me happier. Placebo? Maybe, but I'm not going to fight it.
In an effort to make a healthier more nutrient dense bark that I don't feel as guilty eating, I came up with a recipe that contains good for you ingredients. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, quinoa is a complete protein with loads of fiber and minerals and pistachios offer healthy fats, protein and minerals. The quinoa is toasted ahead of time, and the amount you make will be more than needed for the bark. You can make less but this deliciously nutty toasted quinoa is easily stored and can be added as a topping on yogurt, salads, smoothies or really anything that needs a little crunch. Just store it in a ziplock in the cupboard! Check out how I did this Dark Chocolate Pistachio Quinoa Bark below.
1 cup of raw quinoa, rinsed (I use this brand)
1 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate (I used 70%, but you can use any % you prefer)
1/2 cup raw unsalted pistachios, shelled
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F to toast the quinoa. Steps on toasting the quinoa came from Amy New Nostalgia, but I have included them below as well.
Rinse quinoa in cold water, transfer to a bowl and mix with honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring twice. Keep an eye on it near the end because it can burn very quickly.
3. Put chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Remove, stir and heat again for 30 seconds. Continue until fully melted, being careful not to burn.
4. Spread melted chocolate onto parchment lined baking sheet using a spatula.
5. Sprinkle with pistachios, quinoa and sea salt.
6. Put in fridge for 15-20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
7. Remove from fridge and break into bite sized pieces. Store in the fridge or freezer for a quick easy snack!
I hope you guys enjoy it!