It’s in my DNA to love chocolate. My parents owned a wholesale candy company, so chocolate was a staple in our home. We always had a stash of Hershey’s thick milk chocolate almond bars socked away.
I’ve moved on to more sophisticated flavors which include a regular dose of dark chocolate. What a revelation when I learned that this creamy treat has strong health benefits. It’s high in anti-oxidants, is an anti-inflammatory and is good for heart health. Add some almonds, pistachios, dried cherries and dates and you have one nutritionally dense treat. These snack bars are a no bake recipe which means it comes together quickly. It has a wonderful blend of flavors – sweet, with a touch of salty, and a little bitter from the dark chocolate. Full of real nutrient rich food, easy to make, appeals to all palettes, diets and ages, makes this recipe a winner.
This is another BIG-flavor recipe from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen.
2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao content)
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
1/3 cup almonds, roasted*
8 ounces Medjool dates, halved and pitted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup dries cherries
Very lightly oil an 8 inch square baking pan. Cut two pieces of wax or parchment paper to the same width as the pan and long enough to go up the sides and overlap across the top of the pan. Place one piece in the pan, then place the second piece on top in the other direction.
Put all of the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl (I used a ramekin) and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
Add the dates. melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients begin to hold together, almost like dough. Add the cherries and pulse a few more times, until cherries are coarsely chopped and evenly distributed. Transfer to the prepared pan and press in an even layer using your hands.
Smooth the top with a spatula, if necessary.
Cover with a piece of parchment or waxed paper and chill until firm, about an hour. Remove from the pan by lifting the edges of the waxed paper, and place on a cutting board, still on top of waxed paper. Using an oiled knife to prevent sticking, cut into 16 squares.
Put the bars in a container, with waxed paper in between the layers if stacked, or wrap the bars individually in foil. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. These are great for snacks, breakfast bars, or in school lunches.
*To roast almonds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread almonds on lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove promptly and cool.
Take a longevity pill and eat some dark chocolate today 🙂