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
Thanks for the recipe Sue, they turned out great. Made them for my gym’s closeout potluck and they were hit 🙂 wish I could add a pic!
Post it on my facebook page, Kate — I’ll share it!
What a great recipe idea. I have to try these. Thank you:))
I see a lot of recipes, but there aren’t many that make me excited. This one does! It is Monday night and Friday’s are my night for special treats. It’s going to be a LONG 4 days waiting!
I hope you enjoy them, Lynn 🙂
These were simple and elegant. Im going to box some up for Xmas or Thank you or Hostess gifts.
I followed the recipe exactly and these were beautiful and delicious. I just made them again but faster and without all the mess. I used Lindt 90% cocoa bars and melted the squares on a baking tray lined with parchment, then placed in a very slow oven until just melted. Meanwhile, I portioned out the fruits and nuts into paper cupcake liners, the stiff ones that hold their shape. When the chocolate was ready I slowly tipped the contents of each paper cup onto the melted squares. All up it took only 15 minutes and the melted chocolate spread into rounds when the toppings were added. These were just as beautiful as the first round. I think I’m officially hooked!
Thanks Sue! I hoped I wasn’t stepping on your toes since your original idea is so very fabulous. The simple truth is that treats this special seem to leave my kitchen before I notice, let alone have time to replenish. Thanks again for this splendid idea & perfect combination of flavours.
Great choices of fruits and nuts to pair with these bites! They look incredibly delicious! 🙂
Oh my, how gorgeous are these?! Thank you so much for sharing, Carolyn!
Are you kidding me?! I made these last night and they came out looking just as beautiful and (I’m sure just as) delicious as yours! I need to find me some goji berries…. Top notch… why didn’t I think of this before? Glad you did the thinking for me! 😉
i think you have just saved me from eating everything stale in my pantry!! I have dark chocolate, dried fruit and nuts…and it’s just about time for my late night feeding!! Thank you!!