Healthy indulgences may sound a bit like an oxymoron, but why can’t the decadent foods we crave be just as nutritious and crave-worthy? Can’t we have it all?
In a world of contradictions and stereotypes, we crave the unknown, complex, and unobtainable while also desiring the simplistic, wholesome, and sustainable.
It may be hard to balance these juxtapositions in everyday life, but it’s my firm belief, when it comes to food and nutrition, that every meal, including dessert, can nourish while delighting the taste buds. Of course indulgence is about balance as well, but even our most decadent comfort foods and cravings can be indulgently wholesome, never having to choose the healthy over the delicious.
When it comes to the ritual of Valentine’s Day, there are so many stereotypes, contradicting associations and expectations attached. Throw them out the window along with the box of processed and sugar-infused chocolates.
Cacao, the food of the gods – what we call chocolate, is an ingredient so complex, transformative and nutritious, we have come to crave it, and include it into our daily modern diets. Women crave it monthly, it comforts and soothes us; it’s become a tool for the mood and a vehicle for flavor. But there is certainly a difference when it come to cacao in its unadulterated raw form and the manipulated candy substance that has tried to replace it.
Enter the decadent and pure raw white chocolate bark (easily made dark chocolate), infused with floral essential oils of rose and geranium, sweetened with raw honey, and sprinkled with activated charcoal powder and superfoods.
The delicate oils of the rose and geranium are said to balance the hormones, relieve anxiety while improving the mood, and even acting as aphrodisiacs. They are excellent anti-inflammatory tonic herbs for women and promote clear, smooth skin.
The addition of charcoal is both for health and pop of color. The perfect detoxifying agent to ease digestive disturbances and absorb toxins while supplying a beautify grey tint.
While it may be difficult to temper or form shelf-stable honey-sweetened chocolate, honey supplies another floral layer of flavor and an unprocessed, unrefined, low-glycemic immune-supporting sweetener.
The end result is a unconventional superfood-filled chocolate bark so complex and decadent, while utterly nutritious and even easier to make.
Never make compromises when it comes to your health. Indulge, wholesomely. We can have it all.
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makes 1 large batch, approximately 5-6 servings
* I mainly use Terrasoul superfood ingredients
1 cup shaved cacao butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup lucuma powder
2 heaping tablespoons raw honey
3 drops food-grade geranium essential oil
3 drops food-grade rose essential oil
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 capsules activated charcoal
optional stevia to taste
organic rose petals
black or white sesame seeds
*for a classic dark chocolate bark, substitute lucuma powder for raw cacao powder.
Heat the shaved raw cacao butter and coconut oil in a double boiler, using a candy thermometer to keep the temperature under 115 degrees Fahrenheit, if you’d like to keep the bark strictly raw. Alternatively, place the cacao butter and coconut oil in the dehydrator at 115 degree Fahrenheit, until melted (2-4 hours).
Once melted, remove from heat and combine lucuma, honey, salt, essential oils, and stevia to taste (optional), until well combined. If you’d like to mix in your charcoal to create a blended and uniform color, add your charcoal powder as well. If you’d like a marbled or powdered effect, reserve the charcoal along with your toppings.
Allow to firm and thicken up at room temperature or in the fridge, stirring every now and then. Once thick enough to spread and hold a shape, pour and evenly spread till about 1/4 or 1/6 inch thick onto a wax, parchment paper, or silicon-lined tray or baking sheet.
Quickly mix in or sprinkle on mulberries, black and white sesame seeds and rose petals. Continue to harden in the refrigerator or freezer for an additional 10-15 minutes until brittle.
Break into irregular pieces and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.