{Nourish} Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Valentine’s Day is just days away and there is no better way to show your love than with a healthy, chocolaty treat.

By no means am I a pastry chef or anything remotely close to it.  Yes, I managed to successful bake a Spiced Apple Pear Pie and a homemade Ricotta Pie for the holidays, but I believe luck was on my side those days.  Nonetheless, I enjoy making the occasional sweet treat and recently discovered chocolate bark.  I love this easy, versatile dessert for so many reasons: it can be topped with any number of healthy ingredients, preparation and assembly time is minimal, and even the candy novice can make a chocolate bark that looks, well, professional.

So in honor of American Heart Month and, of course, Valentine’s Day,  this dark chocolate bark is loaded with good-for-you ingredients.  From anti-oxidant rich, immune boosting chocolate and dark cherries (the less added sugar the better!) to the healthy fats, protein and fiber in chia seeds and pistachios, its hard not to fall in love with this satisfying treat.   After all, healthy living is about balance and moderation.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Cherries, Chia and Pistachios

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. of dark chocolate (I used bitter sweet 55-65% cocoa)–rule of thumb…the higher the % cocoa the lower the added sugar
  • ½ C dried, unsweetened dried cherries
  • ½ C pistachios
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Directions:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil or wax paper, set aside.
  2. Combine chocolate chips, cinnamon and orange zest in bowl.
  3. Melt chocolate mixture in double boiler on low-medium heat.
  4. While chocolate is melting, loosely chop dried cherries and pistachio pieces.
  5. Once chocolate mixture is melted completely, add half the cherries and pistachios.
  6. Mix to incorporate.
  7. Pour chocolate mixture into prepared cookie sheet and smooth out.
  8. Sprinkle remaining cherries, pistachios and chia seeds on top.
  9. Place in freezer for 20-25 minutes or until firm.

10.  Remove from freezer and break into pieces.

11.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

How do you like to make your chocolate bark?

Erin DeMito, RD, LDN

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