Halloween Treats: Chocolate Bark Bites with Apricots and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
I know, I know: everyone wants to eat chocolate for Halloween. And that's not so bad--it can even be good--as long as you watch your portions and choose your ingredients wisely. I chose the elements of this chocolate bark based on the season (pumpkins aplenty!) and on the colors associated with the holiday (black and orange).
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are one of the most nutritious seeds around. They are loaded with protein, fiber, and good fats, as well as minerals such as magnesium (during pregnancy, it helps build and repair your body's tissues) and manganese (which helps to build bone and cartilage). Pepitas add a fabulous crunch and nutty taste to this bark. Dried apricots not only lend gorgeous color and sweetness, they also provide beta carotene, vitamin C, and fiber.
By loading the bark up with nuts and dried fruit, we don't have to use too much chocolate; by making bite-size bark, we can help control our portions. These are the little things that will make Halloween less disastrous for your midsections, people. So don't scoff at me. Just make these.
yields 12 pieces of bark
- about 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa (preferably fair trade)
- 1/4c roasted pumpkin seeds*
- 1/4c chopped dried apricots
*You can use raw pumpkin seeds, but they are crunchier when roasted. I bought mine raw, then roasted them with a bit of coconut oil and a couple of pinches of salt. Here's another version of how to roast them from a fresh pumpkin.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt--either in a double boiler or in your microwave--until smooth and glossy.
Reserve a couple of teaspoons of the apricots for the top of the bark; add the rest into the melted chocolate.
Add the pumpkin seeds and stir.
Spoon mixture into a silicone mini-muffin pan; if you don't have one, just drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet topped with wax paper. Top each with a few chopped apricots, pressing down just a bit to ensure that they stick in the chocolate.
Chill in the fridge for a few minutes until the chocolate has hardened. Pop out of the mini-muffin pan and enjoy!
Happy (and healthy) Halloween!
For more real food ideas for Halloween, click here.
Love our Chocolate Bark Grahams? Try them with chopped apricots and pumpkin seeds for another Halloween variation!