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Wholly Canadian Blog

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Bark: Bites of True Pleasure


A great deal of food that tastes good isn't good for us. . .this recipe is good for your health and good for community. . .and it tastes amazing!

Is it a candy, or is it a health food? You decide.


This is the perfect treat to wrap as a gift for the holidays, to give as a teacher's gift, to share as a hostess gift, or to offer in your candy dish (but beware that it will quickly disappear).



  • 1/2 cup local raw pumpkin seeds
      • alternatively you can use any other seed or nut of your choice
  • 1 soft plump Level-Ground trading fair-trade vanilla pod
      • alternatively you can use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon of Solay course fair-trade sea salt
      • if you use a fine salt, use less
  • 1 TB fair-trade coconut oil, and a bit more to pan-roast the seeds in your skillet
  • 2 bags of Camino bittersweet fair-trade chocolate chips; approx 16 grams

 Many fair-trade ingredients can be found at Ten Thousand Villages



 Step 1: Wholesome Food Prep

  • Soak & deyhydrate your pumpkins seeds.

You can skip this step if you do not wish to do this to soak seeds.



Step 2:  Putting it all together

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a small overhang. If you are not using a stoneware pan, you may want to grease the pan prior to placing the parchment paper, so that the paper is easily lifted later. Set the pan aside.
  2. Extract the vanilla seeds from the vanilla pod. See this link as a resource, or see this video for help.
    • research the many ways you can use the remaining vanilla pod
  3. In a double boiler, begin to melt the chocolate chips.
    • Add the 1 TB of coconut oil
    • Add the coconut seed paste from the vanilla pod.
  4. Heat a small skillet on medium heat.
    • Once the skillet is heated, add a bit of oil/butter and then add your pumpkin seeds.
    • Stir the pumpkin seeds  in the skillet continuously so that they do not burn
    • They are ready once a few of them have a slight brown tinge, or you can begin to hear them pop
    • You do not want the taste of burnt seeds
    • Take the seeds out of the pan so they do not continue to roast
  5. Stir the chocolate. Make sure no water gets into the pot or the chocolate will seize.
    • Once the chocolate is melted, add the pumpkins seeds and gently mix.
  6. Spread the mixture over the prepared sheet with a spatula.
    • The mixture may not reach to each corner of the pan. That's okay. Create a "puddle" of chocolate according to how thin you want your bark.
  7. Let the bark cool slightly for 5 minutes. After it has rested, sprinkle the sea salt on top.
  8. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  9. Break into pieces.





Step 3: Enjoyment

To store, place in an air-tight container, or freeze for longer shelf-life.

Enjoy these bites of pure pleasure!







Why makes this recipe outstanding?

1. Nourishment: Whole Nutrition

    • minimal sugar by using bittersweet chocolate (71% cacao), but still yielding maximum pleasure
    • dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants;  pumpkin seeds are a source of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, protein, iron
    • recipe uses organic non-GMO ingredients, but it doesn't end there. . .
    • this recipe also involves traditional wholly nourishing food preparation; this quality of product is generally not available on grocery shelves
      • the seeds have been soaked using traditional methods to aid digestion; eliminating the anti-nutrients (phytic acid)  that contribute to gas and digestive pain associated with seeds and grains

2. Social Justice: Community Orientation

    • this recipe uses all local and/or fair-trade ingredients. . .
    • every bite is a bite of community & goodwill. . . rather than buying what is "cheapest for me," it thinks "we". . . giving way to true joy
    • for a good resource on why this matters see "Why localism"; many of the same principles also apply to fair-trade



What feature would prompt you to try this recipe?


manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, protein, iron - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/food/recipes/soaking.cfm#sthash.ilZOuWts.dpuf



Posted by Wholly Canadian at 9:57 AM


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