Chocolate makes you feel better. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA) which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you are falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel good endorphins. These endorphins that are released into the brain are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain. Apparently chocolate also causes your neuro-transmitters to create serotonin and dopamine which helps calm, relax, and create feelings of well being. YES... Exactly what I need! That said, do remember that a little goes a long way and just because dark chocolate is said to have great health benefits, it's still a sometimes food and in small portions. So no, chocolate can't be a food group... sadness, but it can be a healthy treat!
Check out here, here, here, and here for some of my information search,
So now that I know dark chocolate has some health benefits, I thought I would marry up the chocolate health benefits with those of coconut oil. A WIN/WIN for sure! I got my base recipe from one of my favourite writers... Oh She Glows! She has a wonderful chocolate bark recipe on her blog and this is from where my inspiration came!
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large heavy bottomed pan, I used my cast iron, heat over a medium heat. Toast your nuts, stirring or shaking regularly to prevent burning. When they are fragrant, pour nuts onto a plate to cool. Repeat the process with the coconut. Watch it like a hawk as it will go from just a little golden to burnt in a flash. On my first attempt I used a combination of pistachios and pumpkin seeds On my second attempt I used a combination of almonds and pumpkin seeds. I wanted to have the green contrast in my finished product.
Stir in half of nut mixture. With a spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture onto the prepared parchment-lined and smooth out until it's about 1/4 inch thick.
Chocolate Bark with Nuts & Dried Fruit
1/4 cup shelled pistachios*
1/4 cup raw almonds