Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark Recipe (holiday treat)
When you crave something sweet but don’t want to derail your healthy diet, you don’t need to deprive yourself. Especially during the holidays when gatherings are plentiful and there seem to be endless cookie exchanges and office/neighborhood/family gatherings full of sweets and treats.
Chocolate seems to be a fan favorite, no matter the occasion—even just because it’s a Tuesday. Dark chocolate has been touted as having a plethora of health benefits. Much like red wine, it is, of course, to be enjoyed in moderation.
Cacao, the main ingredient found in all chocolate and cocoa products, is highly complex. Studies have suggested cacao provides a rich array of powerful nutritional properties from minerals to antioxidants to vasoactive and even psychoactive compounds.
Many foods pair well with chocolate, such as nuts, nut butters, caramel, and strawberries, to name but a few. One pairing I didn’t know we needed until now is the seasonal pomegranate.
Pomegranates come from the Middle East. Evidence of its long history has been found in fossilized leaves, branches, and seeds that date back as far as the early Bronze Age. Scientists list it among the top five positions for the oldest cultivated fruits, along with the olive, grape, date palm, and fig. It’s even referenced in the Bible as well as with other religious and cultural texts. Pomegranates tend to be a positive symbol, indicating life, luck, abundance, and fertility.
Truth be told, when I first attempted to peel open this sweet, tart fruit with thick red skin, I was a bit intimidated. I wasn’t sure how to get these tiny, juicy seeds of pure deliciousness out. But once I dug in, I found it was actually really easy.
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According to the folks over at Harvard Health, the easiest way to remove the seeds is as follows:
“Cut the pomegranate in half and score the outside of each half four times, barely cutting through the rind. Hold the cut side of one half loosely in your hand, facing down, over a large, wide bowl. Whack the rind with a large spoon and the seeds should fall out through your fingers into the bowl.”
Pomegranate seeds are uber healthy, packing the following nutrition profile:
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 30% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
- Folate: 16% of the RDI
- Potassium: 12% of the RDI
They also have a plethora of health benefits, including but not limited to:
- Rich supply of antioxidants
- May benefit prostate health
- Helps promote heart health
- May be a natural aphrodisiac
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- May improve memory and brain function
With a touch of sea salt added to the mix, this really enhances all the flavors in both the pomegranate and the dark chocolate.
- 2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Spray the inside of a shallow muffin tin with nonstick spray. (I use coconut oil spray.)
- Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Add ¾ of the melted chocolate to the bottom of each muffin tin.
- Top with pomegranate seeds (dried off to remove excess water).
- Drizzle the remaining ¼ of the melted chocolate atop the pomegranate seeds.
- Sprinkle each with sea salt.
- Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.