One of the things I missed most during my sugar detox was having a little nibble of dark chocolate at the end of meals. This is a habit I learned from my mother, who, up until earlier this year when she gave up sugar for good, used to have an entire pantry cabinet dedicated to fancy dark chocolate bars of various cacao densities and flavors.
I couldn’t always afford this type of pantry-loading. Cherry dark chocolate with sea salt doesn’t come cheap, especially when you eat 3 meals a day at home, and 1 square can easily turn into the whole bar by 3pm. So I started keeping dark chocolate chips in the fridge instead as my go-to meal end-cap.
Opening the fridge became a very arduous task during my sugar-free month, with all those chocolate morsels staring me down from the butter shelf. But once I had done my time, I wanted my period of sugar parole to include just a few special treats, and not my old daily chips-to-the-face routine.
So I decided to get rid of the stash once and for all by throwing them into a mixing bowl and creating this healthy dark chocolate bark recipe. It feels like more of a special occasion indulgence than my mindless mouthfuls of ghirardelli. Plus, this bark includes a lot of amazing skin-clearing ingredients that I’ll be highlighting as part of this month’s green beauty challenge.
Healthy seeds like flax, chia and pumpkin are great all-around additions to your beauty routine. Pepitas in particular are very high in zinc, which Britta Plug went on and on about during last year’s Wellness Wednesday chat as one of her favorite ingredients for clear skin.
Earlier this fall, I shared a recipe for these beauty bon bons, which my facialist Nichola gives out at the end of every session. The combination is always slightly different and on my last visit she included Goji berries instead of the usual chopped apricot or dried cherries. Since she’s my skin-friendly sweet treat sensei, I decided to give the the gojis ago in my beauty bark recipe.
I come across Lily’s Chocolate Baking Chips as I was shopping for my mix-ins and decided to try cutting the regular chocolate chips with this sugar-free option. Usually I find stevia has a cloying aftertaste, but these chips tasted just like the real thing. They’re on the pricey side, but I highly recommend if you’re looking for a healthier option to stock in your fridge for snacking.
Are you taking on any green beauty challenges of your own this month? Make sure you check out my guide here and let me know what you’re up to in the comments. All of this month’s recipes are going to be dedicated to eating yourself pretty, so at the very least, I hope you give some of them a try and start the process of beautifying yourself from the inside out!
Dark Chocolate Beauty Bark with Chia Seeds, Pepitas, and Goji Berries
- 20 oz dark chocolate chips (about 4 cups)
- 1/3 cup dried goji berries
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and clear a space for it in your fridge.
- Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave (use 20 second intervals and stir after each one).
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread with a spatula to form an even layer. Sprinkle the melted chocolate with the remaining ingredients.
- Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened, about 2 hours.
- Break into rustic chunks and store in an airtight container in the fridge for healthy snacking.