Not all chocolate is created equal. I actually teach a chocolate tasting and appreciation class to chefs and folks like you all over the country and I never get tired of seeing people have their own chocolate revelations as they learn how to taste chocolate after I have taught them how to critically assess the aroma, flavor and textural profiles.
Part of the class discusses nutrition as well as delves into a discussion about raw cacao products. This recipe for Chocolate Bark with Fresh Pomegranate features raw cacao, is easy to make, and comes from a new cookbook that takes chocolate – and its health benefits – very seriously.
Bennett Coffey and Kyleen Keenan own the chocolate shop Not Your Sugar Mamas on Martha’s Vineyard where lucky visitors get to sample their plant-based approach to sweets and treats. This recipe for Chocolate Bark with Fresh Pomegranate is from their first book, Chocolate Every Day, 85+ Plant-Based Recipes for Cacao Treats that Support Your Health and Well-Being.
Both of these entrepreneurial women have backgrounds in empowerment, wellness coaching, socially conscious business, and are interested in a holistic integrated approach to food and nutrition. The book is packed with recipes ranging from scones to ice pops, cakes, waffles, doughnut holes and all kinds of candy/chocolate treats, such as this bark – all made with raw cacao, natural sweeteners and healthy fats.
There are many recipes featuring cashews, dates and honey that us FODMAPers have to steer clear of, but there are also recipes using pure cacao powder, cacao butter, maple syrup, chia seeds, coconut oil and other low FODMAP foods that we can occasionally indulge in.
While the premise of their book is that you can eat chocolate “every day”, you might find that your IBS sensitive system does better with a treat like this only every once in a while – but your own digestive system will let you know!
Note that the authors state in the original recipe that the yield “makes 15 pieces”. It is difficult to describe serving sizes for any kind of chocolate bark, since you end up breaking the finished product into randomly shaped pieces. We suggest breaking the bark up into small pieces and trying just one piece to assess how you do.
Excerpted with permission. Chocolate Every Day: 85+ Plant-Based Recipes for Cacao Treats That Support Your Health and Well-Being, by Bennett Coffey and Kyleen Keenan. Avery Books, an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. 2018 ©
From Bennett and Kyleen: Our very first holiday bar was called Be Jolly and although we not longer sell it, it’s still one of our favorites. We’ve made an update though, replacing the pomegranate powder used in our beloved special edition with fresh pomegranate. With each bite, the seeds, crunchy and juicy, burst in your mouth. The ruby red jewels are more than just pretty, though; they are rich in antioxidants and micronutrients, so you’re getting a double dose by pairing them with cacao. We like to serve this bark after a holiday meal, but of course it’s delicious any time of year.
Prep Note from Authors: To quickly remove the pomegranate seeds, roll the fruit on the counter to loosen the seeds, then use a sharp knife to score around the middle of the fruit and break it apart. Holding each half over a bowl, seed-side facing down, tap the outside with a wooden spoon, squeezing a little to release the seeds.
Chocolate Bark with Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
This Chocolate Bark with Fresh Pomegranate Seeds is low FODMAP in small portions, easy to make and incredibly satisfying.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 20 servings; serving size 1 small piece
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the pomegranate seeds generously over the prepared sheet to form a 12-inch (30.5 cm) square. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the cacao butter. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth and fully combined.
Immediately pour the chocolate over the seeds, using a rubber spatula to scrape it out of the pan and spread it evenly into a rough 12-inch (30.5 cm) square. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and gently break the chocolate into 1- to 2-inch (2.5 cm to 7.5 cm) pieces.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, depending on the freshness of the pomegranate.