Dark Chocolate Nut, Seed, and Fruit Brittle

26 Feb

I might need to change the title of this blog to something like: Girl-on-the-go-needs-something-to-shove-in-her-face.

So here it is, another recipe for jet-setting. This one rich dark chocolate, cinnamon, and orange. Protein packed full of nutritious nuts and seeds. A tart zing from the dried fruit. So good.

I end up making different versions of this a few times a month. Seems that I have been going through a lot of it lately.

I have really been giving it away pretty frequently too. I like to bag it up into portions, so that it is easy to grab and go. This makes it easy to control the amount I eat because if you set a large bag in front of me, I might not know how to stop myself. The bags make sharing pretty convenient too. If someone mentions that they are hungry, need something sweet, or looking for a snack. I reach into my bag and have this ready to satisfy.

Food in my purse? That’s how I roll.

Being my friend DOES have its minor perks…. aside from my stunning personality. I just might feed you.

This version has unsweetened cranberries and turkish apricots as its dried fruit additions. I like the sweet apricots and tart cranberry contrast. You can pretty much use any dried fruit. I often use Goji berries or dried cherries, maybe Thompson raisins if I have them around.

As for the nuts and seeds? Anything, really. I would highly recommend that you use raw nuts and seeds. You can find them in a bulk section at most health food stores. These are not roasted or salted, which leaves the flavors really true and lets the fruit and chocolate shine though. If you HAVE to use roasted and salted nuts…. fine. Maybe you can do me a solid and at least go unsalted? Thanks.

I typically keep a rotation of cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax on hand. If I happen to see pecans or walnuts that interest me, then I will throw some of those in too. As for the flax, I know, you won’t get the full benefits of all the omega-3’s without grinding them, but I like to add them in hopes that I can smash a few in my teeth to make a difference. At the minimum, they are at least adding a little extra  fiber.

Who doesn’t need fiber, right?

Why you should eat this? 

Lets go with the fun one here: Dark Chocolate.

Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans, which are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants. I like to chose dark chocolate that is over 70% cacao content. This means there is little to no milk and sugar. I say most because you always want to read the labels of the chocolate you are buying, a shame, but some chocolates are better than other. In fact, most over 70% cacao is very low on the glycemic index, meaning it will not spike your blood sugar like most sweets are known to do.

Dark chocolate is something that I have found to be best bought in these 3.5oz bars. I haven’t found one that I like in bulk. I like the one pictured because it is Organic, over 70% cacao, and fairly traded.

I should mention that if you wanted to use milk chocolate or any other type of chocolate in lieu of dark, go ahead. It works. Just disregard all of the time I spent putting together the above information on dark chocolate, fine.

Dark Chocolate Nut, Seed, and Fruit Brittle

  • 2 – 3.5oz Bars of Dark Chocolate
  • 1/2 c. Raw Cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/3 c. Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 c. Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 c. Turkish Apricots, chopped
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add your nut, seed, and fruit selection to a large mixing bowl.
Add the orange zest and cinnamon and give the mixture a good stirring.
Chop chocolate into even sized pieces. I like to chop directly on the paper (on top of a cutting board, of course) so that I get all of the little pieces to slide off right into the double boiler.
If you do not have a double boiler, you can boil water in a pot. Put a metal or glass bowl (one that fits nicely, not too big, too small would be a disaster) directly on top of the pot of boiling water.
With a whisk or fork stir chocolate pieces constantly to melt and remove from the heat.
Should be shiny and smooth. Be VERY CAREFUL, when you lift the bowl off of the boiling water. You will want to wipe away the water on the bowl quickly and not get any water in the chocolate or on the nut and fruit mixture.
Water and tempered chocolate are mortal enemies.
Add chocolate to the nut mix and stir to coat.
Spread mix into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Let set in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.
Break into pieces.
Share the health and enjoy!
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