Chocolate Almond Bark
Safe to say that most people enjoy chocolate. Especially at the holidays. So if there is a way to enjoy good food without the extra calories from processed packaged foods this is the way to do it. A couple of added benefits are that it has low cholesterol, low sodium, 5 ingredients or less, and it tastes great (so it’s kid friendly). This is a simple Almond or nut bark recipe that will have you coming back for more.
Raw honey that is unprocessed and unfiltered has live enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals and is considered a Whole Food, straight from the hive. Honey provides a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and three times the riboflavin then maple syrup. Organic honey Is a source of natural antioxidants. Local raw honey can also help with people who struggle with allergies. 1 tablespoon only has 60 cal and 17 carbohydrate (16 sugars). Most of the sugars come from fructose with a bit of glucose and even less sucrose.
|| An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions.
|| The ORAC scale measures the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity in different foods. Free radicals are produced during normal metabolism and cell function, as well as from stress and pollutants in our air, water and food. The oxidative stress caused by these free radicals is implicated in everything from the aging and wrinkling of skin to DNA damage, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
|| Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability.
|| Digestive enzymes, primarily produced* in the pancreas and small intestine, break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them.
|| Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.
This is just a small representation of the larger ORAC chart, but you see how high Cacao Powder is on the list…very antioxidant rich.
If you choose to use maple syrup instead of honey, make sure you read the labels. Pure maple syrup and is sap boiled down to make syrup. For every 39 gallons of sap, it makes just 1 gallon of maple syrup. This may help you understand the price difference. Breakfast syrup’s or pancake syrup, are not made with maple at all. They are made from high fructose corn syrup and flavored with an aromatic compounds and caramelized sugar, among a few other spices. Canada produces 80% of the worlds maple syrup. The United States divides the grades into grade A and grade B. Grade A is considered premier and what’s meant for eating. Grade B is so dark that is generally used in baking or cooking. The sugars in maple syrup primarily come from sucrose. Maple syrup may be considered healthier because of its overall less sugar, more importantly Less fructose than honey. Maple syrup provides more minerals than honey such as iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. For 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and there are about 56 calories and 13g of sugar.
Cacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa powder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.
Raw Organic Coconut Butter
Raw organic coconut butter is comprised of puréed, raw coconut meat, not only coconut oil. Coconut oil is up your fat, and is made up of medium fatty chain acids. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are absorbed in your digestive track. Because coconut oil it is 90% saturated fat it will become a solid at 75° or colder and turn into a liquid if warmer than 76°. 1 tablespoon will give you 105 cal, 11 g of fat, 4 g of carbs half of which are dietary fiber, and 2 g of protein. Coconut butter will also give you 6% of the iron you need daily.
All nuts will give you different fat content, carbohydrate content, and protein content. Of all nuts pecans are the highest on the ORAC chart (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Soaking drying all of your nuts and seeds will lead to better digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Homemade Chocolate Almond Bark
1 cup cocoa butter (or coconut butter)
1 cup Cacao powder
1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
3 tsp vanilla extract
optional: chopped nuts
Gently heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat. mix until ingredients are combined and chocolate sauce is smooth.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Pour chocolate sauce over parchment lined cookie sheet .
Place cookie sheet in freezer.
Freeze for 2-3 hours or until completely hard
For more tips and tricks, stay tuned to Healthy With Jodi.