These energy balls combine sesame tahini, dates, and flaxseed to create a satisfying and nutrient-dense indulgence.
“Caramel” Nut Chocolate Bark
Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Grain-free, Egg-free, Soy & Dairy-free depending on which chocolate you choose.
We all need to indulge from time to time, like in late winter, when the sparkle of fresh snow has dulled to slush and snirt (snow + dirt). Or on Valentine’s Day, when you’re trying to avoid falling face first into a heart-shaped box of artificial ingredients. I’ve loaded all the crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty, dark-chocolaty goodness I could fit into this scrumptious treat, and the best part is, it’s choc-full of thyroid-loving ingredients.
When you don’t eat gluten, dairy, or eggs, your options for sweet treats get pretty narrowed down. Chocolate bark can be a welcome treat solution. For compliance with dietary restrictions, choose your chocolate wisely and read the ingredient list. Many chocolates contain soy in the form of soy lecithin, an emulsifier. Another common ingredient is milk solids, so if you’re avoiding dairy, look to dark varieties of chocolate, which are less likely to contain milk. Cocoa butter is another ingredient often found in chocolate, and good news, it is not a dairy product. Cocoa butter is a natural fat derived from the cocoa bean, and it improves chocolate’s flavor and mouthfeel.
Watch time: 4 minutes
For this recipe, I go for a high-quality bittersweet chocolate, like this one from Guittard. It’s Fair Trade Certified, 70% cacao, and both soy and dairy-free. Most importantly, it’s luscious and smooth as silk.
Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:
- High-quality dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits including antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, and flavonoids. It has been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) while also preventing it from damaging tissues.
- 1 ounce of dark chocolate contains 3 grams of dietary fiber.
- 1 ounce of Brazil Nuts contains 774% DV for Selenium, a key thyroid nutrient.
- 1 ounce of Chia Seeds contains nearly 5000 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, 4.4 grams of protein, and 11 grams of dietary fiber. It also contains 18% RDA of Calcium, which is especially helpful to those of us avoiding dairy.
- Medjool dates are an excellent natural sweetener and caramel substitute. Although they are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation, they provide 2 grams of dietary fiber per fruit.
"Caramel" Nut Chocolate Bark
I’ve loaded all the crunchy, chewy, sweet, salty, dark-chocolaty goodness I could fit into this scrumptious treat, and the best part is, it’s choc-full of thyroid-loving ingredients. Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Grain-free, Egg-free, Soy & Dairy-free depending on which chocolate you choose.
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (preferably soy and dairy free)
- 1 oz Brazil Nuts, very roughly chopped (approx. 8 med.)
- 2 oz Medjool dates, pitted and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (approx. 4 med.)
- 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt, (I like the taste of Maldon salt)
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in microwave at 30-second intervals (stirring after each), until smooth.
Stir in chopped Brazil nuts and dates, and spread evenly on a sheet of parchment. Sprinkle with chia seeds and sea salt, and let harden at room temperature for at least 4 hours. Cut or break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.