[Mmmm. . . . a dessert-like treat that provides healthy carbs, fats and protein. . . great post-feast snacking!]
Hello everyone! Hope those of you who celebrated yesterday had a relaxing, stress-free holiday filled with the love of family, good friends, and fabulous food! We had a bit of an adventure over here (more on that next post), but suffice it to say we deferred our Christmas feast until. . . today!
And now. . . on to dessert (or, perhaps, a really good snack)!
I wanted to create a holiday-themed chocolate bark, but one that would offer more than empty calories and sugars. After I received a bunch of amazing products from Growing Naturals a couple of weeks ago, I began to play in the kitchen with their rice and pea proteins. I loved the fact that their rice protein is quite fine and didn’t feel gritty to me at all when I blended it with my other ingredients. So then it hit me: why not add it to my chocolate bark, and see what happens? The result was this very decadent-tasting bark that is reminiscent of milk chocolate and will stay firm for up to 30 minutes at room temperature (after which point it begins to soften because of the hemp).
With hemp seeds and protein powder as two major ingredients, this is a sweet treat that actually provides calories from all three macronutrients (protein, carb, good fats), so it should help to satisfy a sweet tooth without triggering sugar cravings. And it contains 7.5 g of protein per serving–about 1/6 of your daily needs, almost unheard of in a sweet treat! I loved this flavor combination with peppermint and gojis, but that’s the beauty of a recipe like this one–you can add whatever you like in the way of dried fruits, chopped nuts, or flavorings (I think coconut flavoring and chopped candied ginger would be spectacular if you can have it).
I’m going to be taking it easy over the next few days, but will be back with a holiday recap and new recipe before the new year. In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves as the year winds down.
Happy Holiday Hugs,
Peppermint-Chocolate Bark with a Protein Boost
A lovely, festive chocolate snack that delivers more than mere calories. Feel free to play with the flavors in this creamy confection.
2 cups (160 g) raw unsweetened finely shredded coconut (not the large shreds) OR 1 cup (240 ml) raw coconut butter, melted
3/4 cup (120 g) raw hemp seeds
2 ounces (60 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2-1 tsp (2.5 to 5 ml) peppermint or vanilla pure stevial liquid, to your taste
pinch fine sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) pure peppermint extract
1 scoop raw protein powder (I used Growing Naturals chocolate rice)
1/4 cup (60 ml) goji berries, dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries, or chopped nuts, if desired
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) more hemp seeds, if desired
Line a loaf pan or mold with plastic wrap and set aside.
Place the coconut or coconut butter, hemp seeds and coconut sugar in a high-powered blender and, using the tamper to keep the mixture moving, blend until liquefied. This should take only a minute or two. (If you have a powerful food processor, you can use it instead, but it will take longer for the coconut to turn to butter, and the texture will be slightly more grainy.) Add the chocolate, stevia, salt and vanilla, and continue to blend, stirring with the tamper, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Finally, add the protein powder and blend again until incorporated.
Pour into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with goji berries and additional hemp seeds if desired. Place in refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.
Once firm, invert onto a cutting board and remove the plastic. Cut into odd shapes and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve cold. Makes 12-16 pieces. Will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks. Protein per piece (12 pieces): 7.5 g.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 3 (stage 2 with xylitol) and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan, low glycemic.
Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
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