When I was growing up I went to an old-school dermatologist who told me never to eat chocolate.
Dark chocolate was not readily available back then, so he might have actually had a point given that any chocolate bar at the corner store was full of sugar, hydrogenated oil and contained very little real cacao.
Fortunately, things have changed so I’m here to tell you that you can officially forget what you may have heard about chocolate ruining your skin. Not only is (dark) chocolate not bad for you, it’s actually great tool to help protect your skin.
Why? Well, it’s because chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa-solids (i.e. 70% or more) contain flavonoids and catechins and procyanidins — which are compounds that protect the skin from harmful UV rays and help to counter skin damage.
And like in this recipe, when you mix good dark chocolate with coconut, nuts, and seeds you have the added bonus of introducing cytokinins, which are proven to help slow down the development of cancerous cells and also help to stabilize your blood sugar
- 1½ cups raw nuts/seeds (I like chopped brazil nuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds or even peanuts) *
- ¾ cup desiccated/shredded or flaked coconut
- 7 ounces dark/bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%)
- 3 ounces (gently warmed) coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons agave, honey or maple syrup
- a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) **
- ⅔ cup mixed dried berries (I like cranberries, currants, raisins, goji, blueberries &/or tart cherries)
- a sprinkling of Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the nuts onto an unlined baking sheet along with the coconut. Pop into the preheated oven to toast for 5 minutes until you can see the coconut turning golden—it will smell really good! Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Break the chocolate into small pieces and pop into a heatproof bowl with the coconut oil, sweetener of your choice, and cayenne. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir to melt.
- Transfer the cooled nuts to a large mixing bowl, add the dried fruit, and pour in the melted chocolate.
- Mix together well then spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mixture quite thinly as you want the consistency to be like chocolate brittle rather than a chocolate bar. Sprinkle with a little Himalayan sea salt.
- Put the baking sheet in the fridge to harden the chocolate for 1 hour. After this time, you can take it out and break it up or cut it into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This brittle is a seriously delicious and still healthy enough to enjoy at breakfast. And way better for you than the awful store-bought bark!
* If you’re allergic to nuts, just add more coconut flakes.
** Cayenne pepper add a nice little flavour punch and it’s certainly good for you