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
Gorgeous looking mendiants, Sue. Good thing I have a planned trip to my local Bulk Barn in the next day or two! With their volume turnover, especially this time of year, I’m pretty much guaranteed fresh ingredients. AND – I can buy in small quantities.
Perfect! My friends & neighbors are going to be happy campers this Xmas!
That sounds perfect!
Great recipe! I really love the ideas you shared for topping. I use True Elements Berries Mix, a combination of blueberry and cranberry to make this recipe and it was really great!
I have studied both chocolatieering and chocolate making and have made Mendiants several times. The colors of the Mendiant are representing the four mendicant or monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites. Each of the nuts and dried fruits used refer to the color of monastic robes with tradition dictating raisins for the Dominicans, hazelnut for the Augustins, dried fig for Franciscans and almond for Carmelite. They have evolved to whatever toppings you like. These are simple and are always a big hit. I taught a class making these before. Everyone was ecstatic that it was so easy to make, delicious and they got to take their work home to share. Great idea you had in offering this to everyone. Enjoy!
Tres Bien! I have a love of Chocolate too, and a ton of dark chocolate I have been saving and wanting to use simply and creatively! This fits the Bill! I have all the ingredients, and I will use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. I do not own a Microwave, they are not good for anyone!
Double Boiler? two pots on top of each other, the bottom one has water and boils to heat the top one with the chocolate in it!
I imagine I can double the recipe? Store in a saved metal candy box, layered on parchment paper, will make this again and again for sure! What is not to love here? Simple, easy, healthy, charming, and satisfying! Merci Beau Coup!
I just made these with Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips , dried cherries and pineapples, raisins, pecans, and pepitas. I’m not normally a fan of dark chocolate due to a giant sweet tooth, but the fruit sweetens the chocolate plenty! These are rich enough that even one is enough to satisfy a chocolate craving. Thanks so much for the recipe!
couldn’t a person use cocoa powder mixed with stevia and coconut oil for the base?
I haven’t tried that JL, so I can’t say, sorry.
Hello from Denmark.
Thanks for this delicious recipe. Wow they taste delicious.
How long will you think they can stay in a box in the refrigerator? Before they get soft, boring, the chocolate gets white etc.?
All the best,
They should last up to 3 weeks Emma.
Hello Sue, thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I was curious to know where you purchased the dried fruit ingredients as I am having trouble finding them all on Amazon. Is there a particular website you purchase them from? Thank you! G
I find it’s easiest to buy that kind of thing locally, because you don’t want to have to buy it in bigger sizes, which is often the case online. Trader Joe’s has a great selection, if you have one near you, and you can generally find most of what I use in a large grocery store, although it can be a challenge to locate them. Another source I love for really amazing dried fruit is my farmers market, some stalls will dry their own fruit and sell it all year long.
Absolutely delicious and super easy !!
Dear Sue, So like your recipe for Muesli Toasting Bread. Thanks for the recipe! Sincerely, Melody Andres
Happy to hear it Melody!