I’m pretty liberal with my definition of healthy— I think if a food is delicious and whole, that is, unprocessed or minimally processed, it deserves a spot on my table. I’m not judgmental about eating animal protein as long as the animals are raised humanely. I’m down with healthy fats and yes, even a little sugar. But in the interest of keeping a healthy weight, I say no to dessert most of the time. The problem is that even after a good dinner, I’m sometimes left with a gnawing urge for a little something sweet. I’m sure it’s purely psychological, but I can’t ignore it…I’ll scrounge around and usually open a bag of chocolate chips in desperation.
These little medallions come to my rescue…they’re made with heart healthy extra dark chocolate, and lots of colorful little super foods (dried fruit, nuts, and seeds) sprinkled on top for fun. I’ve collected together some of my favorites, but any combination will do. I used dried blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, figs, pineapple, mango, and papaya. Walnuts, pistachios and almonds, hemp seeds and pepitas. I collected them for color as well as flavor, and all of them have health giving properties, so these little dark chocolate medallions are not only guilt free, you’d be remiss not to include them in your diet!
Each one of these bites is about 1/3 of an ounce of dark chocolate, so 3 of them would equal a 1 ounce daily dose of heart healthy flavonoids. Cool, huh? A definite step up from raiding the chocolate chips.
- about 8 oz of dark chocolate, I used Trader Joe's 73% Super Dark chocolate bars (the higher the percentage of cacao the better)
- assorted dried fruits, chopped nuts, and seeds
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper, or waxed paper, or foil.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put in a microwave safe glass measuring cup. Microwave for 60 seconds, and then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and then stir again to completely melt the chocolate. If there are still lumps, microwave for another short burst and stir again.
- Use a spoon to make small rounds of chocolate onto the parchment paper. Let the chocolate fall from the spoon and it will naturally form a more or less round shape. You can nudge it with your spoon if you like. Work with one at a time, and sprinkle each round of chocolate with an assortment of your healthy add-ins while the chocolate is still hot. Make them whatever size you like, but mine were about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Let the chocolate set at room temperature, or put the bites in the refrigerator to speed things up.
If you plan to refrigerate the medallions it helps to put the parchment right on a baking sheet or tray so you can transfer it straight to the fridge.
Think of this as an experiment in mindful snacking… it starts by appreciating the blobs of glossy chocolate as they find their unique shapes on the parchment, and then the random patterns of colorful fruits, nuts, and seeds as they sink into the warm surface.
Your enjoyment of each crunchy, chewy, chocolatey bite will be heightened even further by the knowledge that you’ve embraced dessert as a powerful friend and ally, rather than the enemy…
and don’t forget your healthy glass of red wine to go along with your bites :)