Around the holidays, it can feel like mission impossible to find a sweet treat that’s actually good for you.
Enter this scrumptious dark chocolate quinoa bark.
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that contains all nine essential amino acids, says Katie Rankell, director of the UCI Health Weight Management Program.
When it comes to nutritional benefits, few foods are as perfect.
- High in protein
- High in fiber
- Loaded with antioxidants
- Full of magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium and vitamin E
Dark chocolate takes this dessert to another level. It’s higher in cocoa than milk chocolate, making it better for your heart health.
Rankell notes that studies have shown that dark chocolate can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. She does caution that dark chocolate still contains fats and sugars, so it should be eaten in moderation. Look for cocoa content that is 70 percent or higher to get the most benefits.
Dark chocolate quinoa bark
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- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 12 ounces dark chocolate
- Coconut (for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt honey and coconut oil over medium-low heat and stir continuously for two minutes. Stir in vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, pistachios and almonds. Add honey and coconut mixture to the bowl. Toss together until everything is evenly coated.
Put mixture in a 9x13-inch baking pan and bake for 25 minutes, until quinoa is brown and crisp.
While bark is cooking, put chocolate in a glass bowl. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a simmer, then place the bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring that the bowl is not touching the water.
Stir chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the quinoa in an even layer.
Sprinkle with desired toppings. Place sheet in freezer for 15 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
Break into pieces and serve.
- Calories 353
- Fat 16.4 grams
- Carbohydrates 46.7 grams
- Protein 6.1 grams
- Fiber 3.1 grams