Not a day goes by that I don't enjoy a little chocolate in some shape or form. Whether first thing in the morning with some cacao in my oats or Mylky Way Smoothie, as a mid-day snack in my Peanut Butter Protein or Raw Walnut Brownie Bites, or as an after dinner treat with this Almond, Hemp + Sea Salt Cacao Bark.
Ever since discovering how easy it is make my own chocolate, I always have my freezer stocked. The base of this sweet treat (coconut oil, cacao powder and brown rice syrup) is so simple and versatile. In this case I've included almonds, hemp seeds and sea salt, but I love switching up the add-in's to try out different combinations (check out my Cacao Bark with coconut flakes, cacao nibs and goji berries).
The real reason I make my own chocolate, though, is because of the many health benefits of course. Most store bought chocolate bars are filled with processed sugars, cocoa and soy. But this Almond, Hemp + Sea Salt Cacao Bark is completely refined sugar-free, using one of my favorite low-glycemic sweeteners (brown rice syrup) instead, it contains no soy lecithin, and gets it's chocolatey goodness from raw cacao powder!
Cacao powder is the purest form of chocolate and unlike cocoa powder, cacao is unrefined meaning it still contains all of the vital nutrients that are lost in the process of making cocoa powder and chocolate bars. Cacao is one of the highest sources of antioxidants and is rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium. It also contains 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber for every 2 tablespoons.
Almond, Hemp Seed + Sea Salt Cacao Bark
(Makes 15-20 Servings)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1 Tbs hemp seeds
pinch of sea salt
1. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil on low heat then add brown rice syrup, cacao powder and sea salt. Stir all ingredients together and remove from heat.
2. Next add the chopped almonds and hemp seeds to the pan and stir.
3. Line a square baking tray with parchment paper and pour in the chocolate evenly. Sprinkle a few more chopped almonds, some hemp seeds, and a pinch of sea salt on top (optional).
4. Place tray in the freezer on an empty shelf for 15-20 minutes, or until frozen. Once the chocolate has hardened, break into whatever size pieces you like.
5. Devour! Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
I hope you all enjoy this healthy and homemade chocolate treat!