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healthy caramel nut chocolate bark with dates

'Caramel' Nut Chocolate Bark

dairy free gluten free recipes sweets

When you don’t eat gluten, dairy, or eggs, your options for sweet treats get pretty narrowed down. Chocolate bark can be a welcome solution. I’ve loaded this 'Caramel' Nut Chocolate Bark with all the crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty, dark-chocolaty goodness I could fit in, and the best part is, it’s choc-full of thyroid-loving ingredients.

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Choosing Your Chocolate Wisely

For compliance with dietary restrictions, choose your chocolate wisely and read the ingredient list. Many chocolates contain soy in the form of soy lecithin, an emulsifier.

Another common ingredient is milk solids, so if you’re avoiding dairy, look to dark varieties of chocolate, which are less likely to contain milk. Typically, the darker the better with chocolate as far as health benefits go. 

Cocoa butter is another ingredient often found in chocolate. Good news: cocoa butter is not a dairy product, but a natural fat derived from the cocoa bean, meant to improve chocolate’s flavor and mouthfeel.

For this recipe, go for high-quality bittersweet chocolate, like this one from Guittard. It’s Fair Trade Certified, 70% cacao, and both soy and dairy-free. Most importantly, it’s luscious, melts like a dream, and is smooth as silk.

 

 

Thyroid-healthy Highlights:

  • High-quality dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits including antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, and flavonoids. It has been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) while also preventing it from damaging tissues.
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate contains 3 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 1 ounce of Brazil Nuts contains 774% DV for Selenium, a key thyroid nutrient.
  • 1 ounce of Chia Seeds contains nearly 5000 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, 4.4 grams of protein, and 11 grams of dietary fiber. It also contains 18% RDA of Calcium, which is especially helpful to those of us avoiding dairy.
  • Medjool dates are an excellent natural sweetener and caramel substitute. Although they are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation, they provide 2 grams of dietary fiber per fruit.

 

 

"Caramel" Nut Chocolate Bark

"Caramel" Nut Chocolate Bark

Yield: 4
Author: Ginny Mahar
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Gluten-free, Dairy-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dark chocolate chopped (soy and dairy-free)
  • 1 oz. Brazil Nuts, very roughly chopped (approx. 8 med.)
  • 2 oz. Medjool dates, pitted and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (approx. 4 med.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (like Maldon)

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in microwave at 30-second intervals (stirring after each), until smooth.
  2. Stir in chopped Brazil nuts and dates, and spread evenly on a sheet of parchment. Sprinkle with chia seeds and sea salt, and let harden at room temperature for at least 4 hours. Cut or break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

243.19

Fat (grams)

13.80

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.41

Carbs (grams)

29.01

Fiber (grams)

3.64

Net carbs

25.37

Sugar (grams)

23.17

Protein (grams)

2.74

Sodium (milligrams)

535.96

Cholesterol (grams)

2.27
 
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