‘Tis the season of cookies and parties, and boy do I love cookies and parties! I am sharing with you something that you can feel better about. Its an easy crowd pleaser. Especially if you share what is so good about it!
Tori’s Dark Chocolate Anti-oxidant Bark
Sizes and amounts depends on how much you are making. Which dark chocolate you get depends on how much you like the person/people you are sharing with 😉
- Dark Chocolate bar(s) – make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa for optimal benefits
- Anti-oxidant mix (bulk bins, sometimes called Heart Health Mix); usually contains dried cranberries, pepitas, raw almonds, raw cashews, walnuts…
- Gogi berries
- Candied Ginger (optional)
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Prepare your pan with wax paper. I sort out the nuts from the mix and give them a quick chop. Melt your chocolate; I use the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, then stir (be careful not to over do it). Spread chocolate on the wax paper and sprinkle anti-oxidant generously! Less generously sprinkle with the salt; just a little adds a nice touch. Chill in fridge or garage (it’s cold outside!). Once set, go ahead and break it up and keep in air tight container until ready to share.
Dark Chocolate *moderation is still key*
- Magnesium-helps fight stress, fatigue, and depression.
- Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among others. Flavanol, an anti-oxidant, helps lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to the heart and brain.
- Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage. (https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/)
- One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
- Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. Some say that when you are craving chocolate, its your body craving magnesium.
- Zinc is important to your body in many ways including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
- Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s ( DR. MERCOLA)
- Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
- They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber.
- Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.
- This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity. (http://thehealthyeatingsite.com/the-health-benefits-of-goji-berries/)
- Long known for its support of the digestive system. Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.(http://www.webmd.com)
I’m going to go have a piece now! I hope you try it and enjoy sharing them.
Steeping in the Holidays,