Dark chocolate mendiants are the healthy way to do dessert ~ these melt in your mouth medallions are made with anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate topped with colorful dried fruits, nuts, and seeds ~ they’re just as pretty as they are delicious!
dark chocolate mendiants are a healthy homemade candy
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 eventually open a bag of chocolate chips, if I can’t find anything else 🙂
what are chocolate mendiants?
Mendiants are simply round ‘medallions’ or ‘coins’ of chocolate, topped with various fruits and nuts. They’re a French Christmas tradition, and super easy to make at home. Mine are made with heart healthy extra dark chocolate, with lots of colorful little super foods (dried fruit, nuts, and seeds) sprinkled on top for fun. If you’re a white chocolate fan, check out my White chocolate Energy Bites, which are a variation on the same theme. The concept can also be applied to easy-to-make nut-butter cups, like these Detox Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups ~ the possibilities are endless!
topping ideas for chocolate mendiants
- dried blueberries
- dried cranberries
- goji berries
- hemp seeds
- flax seeds
- poppy seeds
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!
how much dark chocolate is should you eat?
Medical experts agree that 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate a day is not only ok, it’s good for you. Just make sure you’re eating actual dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa solids. The flavanols in cocoa have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, with wide reaching benefits for your heart. Just be sure you aren’t eating too much chocolate, because in this case, more isn’t better!
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?
vary these candies according to your taste
If you’re not into the exotic variety here, just use chopped nuts, or raisins, they’ll be great, and just as healthy.
think of this as an experiment in mindful snacking…
It starts by appreciating the blobs of glossy molten chocolate as they find their unique shapes on the parchment paper. Then focus on the random patterns of colorful fruits, nuts, and seeds as they’ve sunk 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 as an enemy…
tips for making chocolate medallions
Good quality bar chocolate is the best base for these chocolate coins. The darker the better! Read your labels, the higher percentage of cacao, the healthier it will be. Try to find a minimum of 70%.
This helps the chocolate melt quickly, with the least amount of heat. Too much heat can cause chocolate to seize.
Yes, I’ve done that. Ghirardelli makes good bittersweet chips. Chocolate chips melt to a slightly thicker consistency than bar chocolate, but they can be used. They’re convenient because there’s no chopping necessary.
Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit do not last forever in the back of your pantry, so be sure to check that they’re fresh before topping your chocolate. Better yet, invest in fresh ingredients for this special treat.
Your chocolates will last up to 3 weeks at room temperature, or in the fridge. You can freeze them as well for longer storage.
Just melt your favorite keto chocolate bar for a low carb version.
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Dark Chocolate Mendiants
- parchment paper
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, I used Trader Joe’s 73% Super Dark chocolate bars (the higher the percentage of cacao the better)
- assorted dried fruits, chopped in small pieces
- chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans
- seeds like sesame, poppy, hemp, flax, etc.
- 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 bowl or 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 drop 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.
- Store the mendiants at room temperature, or in the fridge. They'll last for at least 3 weeks. You can also freeze them.
Questions and Reviews
My dad used to keep one of those big bars of chocolate in the freezer and every night he would break off a small piece. Not a speck more.
I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but your “healthy bites” are truly tempting. Clever idea to use the extra dark chocolate (which my daughter swears by) along with the healthy toppings. The photos are divine, Sue, as always. Think I better pin! 🙂
Your dad was ahead of his time! Thanks Barbara <3
These look like heaven! I’m going to try this today! Thank you for your never-failing inspiration. I share your food-philosophy, but I have to admit that too often when my workload felt prohibitive I have found myself resorting to quick-and-easy-but-not-very-healthy-or-appealing options. Since discovering your website I’m enjoying being in the kitchen again – and most of what I’m making are either your recipes, or my own “experiments” that have been inspired by them. You’ve been a life changer for me and I’m very grateful. Your post is the first thing I check for each day 🙂
I’m reading this with my morning coffee Mimi — what a way to start the day, thanks for the pat on the back. Blogging is like any other job, it has its ups and downs, but comments like yours definitely make it worthwhile 🙂
If this is healthy, I’m all in! Love all the textures, what a perfect way to satisfy a chocolate craving!
I can eat chocolate and detox and be somewhat healthy. Oh my gosh!! What a great recipe. Pinned!
I have that gnawing after lunch for some reason. A single Hersey kiss can put it to rest. These would be lovely. I know you made a great case for healthy. But they look too good for that category—HA! They are gorgeous. I think you may a new
Xmas treat on your hands actually. They look so festive.
I love what you did here! The nuts and fruit combined with the dark chocolate – I believe it would cure those cravings that send me into the kitchen looking for an open bag of chocolate chips. Love it! They are so pretty too.
I am also a chocolate chipper, I must confess. Sue, you make these sound on par with broccoli or spinach .. you’ve convinced me I would be doing myself a real disservice NOT to eat one or two or three. Love the photos, especially the one where they’re stacked up!
Thanks Amy, we need to join chocolate chippers anonymous…
I feel very unsettled at the end of the day if I haven’t had a little something sweet. And I have definitely dug into the rouge bag of chocolate chips on many occasions! These colorful little bites seems like a much better option! YUM!
I’m glad I’m not alone in my chocolate chip habit 😉
These chocolate bites look so beautiful!
Thanks Angie —I definitely eat with my eyes!
I may have found my substitute for Trader Joes Extravaganza bar and more.
We picked up that bar in Fl in Nov.It is always limited to Christmas I read.we have one square left.
Your medallions are far prettier.
I’ve never had one, now I’m going to have to hunt them down!