I think perhaps the thing I find hardest about striving for healthier eating habits is the controlling of my sweet tooth. I’m not really one for dessert (I’d seriously rather have another starter at the end of a meal than a pudding) but there are certain times of day (mid-morning, a couple of hours after lunch, when watching a film or reading after dinner, the list goes on…) when I find myself sniffing around for something sugary. I can start the day with all the best intentions, but I often find myself slipping up at these dangerous moments. Pair this with the fact that I’m not really one for moderation (if I have one, I want them all), and I end up really struggling to balance my wish for a cleaner diet and my contradictory ‘need’ for sweetness.
This rather annoying tendency to slip up led me to think about what I could do to control my lapses in a way that left me satisfied but also wasn’t going to completely derail a healthy eating plan. My mind immediately rested on dark chocolate. We’ve all heard that, in moderation, dark chocolate has a whole host of health benefits and I figured this would be a good ingredient to spring from… a quick brainstorm later and this superfood dark chocolate bark came to life. The almonds provide crunch, the goji berries a bit of chew and the wheatgrass powder an interesting depth of flavour, let alone numerous health benefits (if you haven’t tried it, it tastes a bit like a green tea). What I love about this, and what makes it so perfect for the moderation of sugar-cravings, is that the dark chocolate (the darker the better!) is so rich that this isn’t the kind of treat you want to sit and scoff; it’s something to be savoured a few bites at a time.
Ingredients (makes enough to fill a 20x30cm baking tray)
– 3 x 100g bars of proper dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
– handful almonds
– handful goji berries
– a sprinkling of organic wheatgrass powder
1. Place a sturdy glass bowl over a saucepan of water, making sure that the water doesn’t quite touch the bottom of the bowl, and bring it to a boil. Once the water is bubbling, break up the chocolate bars into chunks, place them in the bowl and continually stir until completely melted and smooth.
2. Line a 20x30cm baking tray with baking paper before pouring the melted chocolate into it. Coax the chocolate into all four corners and smooth it out with a spoon to create a uniform layer.
3. Immediately start placing your goji berries and almonds randomly across the surface of the chocolate, before sprinkling on a light dusting of the wheatgrass powder.
4. Place the tray into the freezer (making sure it is completely flat to prevent your chocolate from sliding into one corner!) for a few minutes until completely solid.
5. Once hard, snap the resulting mega-bar into chunks to create the ‘bark’. Pop these into a sealed container and keep chilled in the fridge until your next sugar-craving comes around! Enjoy!