5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark with Salted Caramelized Sesame Seeds

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark
This insanely addictive Valentines Day recipe was inspired by my new chocolate obsession – the Lindt sesame dark chocolate bar. Literally, I can’t stop eating it, I should have titled this recipe pure CRACK! The combination of the sweet yet nutty sesame seeds and rich dark chocolate is a perfect match. My initial idea was to make these into amazing little peanut butter cups with homemade chocolate. After various failed attempts, I ran out of cacao powder and wax liners and decided to head in a completely different direction. Afterall, chocolate bark has always served me well and is ridiculously easy to make. I will continue to work on making my own chocolate, so stay tuned for that. For now, melting good quality chocolate will do.

I caramelized my toasted sesame seeds in pure maple syrup, and I could have just eaten that on its own. It reminded me of an even better sesame snap (remember those?). The addition of the peanut butter into the dark chocolate really compliments the nuttiness of the sesame seeds. As you all know by now, there is nothing I love more than sweet and savoury, so a sprinkling of course salt is the perfect final component. With only 5 ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than this. The final product is made in under 10 minutes, and can even be made in advance and stored in the freezer for days (but your loved ones don’t need to know that!). Giving a homemade treat this Valentines Day, will make it one that’s truly special. Happy Valentines Day to you my loves.

(ps. for those interested, I tried to mix cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut sugar for my own chocolate. I couldnt get the coconut sugar to absorb properly and it just made a mess! Next time, I’ll use a liquid sweetener for better absorption!)
5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (any variety you like, just make sure they are toasted!)
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I like 70% dairy free, but choose your favourite chocolate!)
• 5 tbsp all natural peanut butter
• coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Prepare two large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Heat maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add your sesame seeds and cook together with the maple syrup for about 5 minutes or until they seeds are well coated in the syrup.

2. Spread out the sesame seeds onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. It’s ok if there are clusters! Allow to cool.

3. Over a double boiler OR by heating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, melt your chocolate. If you use the microwave make sure to stir really well in between each 30 seconds. You don’t want to burn your chocolate.

4. Spread the chocolate evenly on your remaining parchment lined cookie sheet. The more you spread the chocolate, the thinner your chocolate bark will be.

5. If your peanut butter is hard from the fridge, microwave for 30 seconds so it is spreadable. Then, disperse dollops of peanut butter evenly on the chocolate. Using a toothpick or fork, swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate. Using your hands, break apart the caramelized sesame over the chocolate, then sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in the freezer for at least an hour or until set. Break apart using your hands into desired size. Store in an airtight container (I like keeping it in the freezer).

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bark

Chia Pudding 101

Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are quite similar to flax but requires no grinding to receive all its benefits. These seeds have more omega-3s than salmon and the right amount of omega-6 which helps support heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails. Chia seeds also have about 11 g of fibre per ounce which will help aid in digestion and staying fuller for longer. Furthermore, per ounce, chia has up to 3 times more calcium than skim milk!

Chia can be enjoyed as a topping on salads, oatmeal and yogurt. It can also be added into baked goods, smoothies or used as an egg substitute for vegans. When added with liquid this seed becomes like a superfood tapioca pudding. In recreating my last chia pudding recipe, I realized that adding that extra tablespoon of oats makes for a creamier result. The recipe given here is my usual base, but I often will change it up with one of the add ins mentioned below. The best part about chia pudding is you can prepare it for the entire week in one day, and change up your toppings daily depending on your mood.
Chia PuddingChia Pudding

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp oats (gluten free if your celiac)
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1 tsp maple syrup, honey or a few drops of stevia (to taste)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Additional Add Ins:

• 1 tsp protein powder
• dates
• matcha tea powder (working on a recipe with this now!Stay tuned…)
• fresh juice
• 1 tsp cacao powder
• mashed banana
• 1 tsp maca powder
• fresh jams and fruit purees

Toppings:

• fresh fruit
• nuts and nut butters (try coating nuts in honey and sea salt!)
homemade cereal
granola
• dates, figs, prunes, goji berries
• maple flakes
• coconut flakes

Directions:

1. Place all of the ingredients in a sealable jar. Shake vigorously. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then shake the jar vigorously again. Try and do this one more time before leaving it in the fridge overnight. You can have chia pudding within half an hour,however the longer it rests in the fridge the more thick and pudding-like it will be.

2. Remove from the fridge and add toppings of choice.
Chia Pudding

Vanilla Raspberry Porridge with Toasted Cashews

Vanilla Raspberry Porridge
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I hate more than throwing out food. I do have a habit of buying more than Zach and I need, and sometimes I just can’t get through all the produce I bought for the week. A good way to avoid this is to buy small amounts of fresh produce once at the beginning of the week and again towards the end. HOWEVER, most of us want to do a big order once a week. Luckily this oatmeal recipe is a great way to use up some of that overripe fruit.

Although this recipes calls for raspberries, you can use just about ANY fruit to make a compote of sorts. By cooking the fruit, the natural sweetness and flavours are intensified from cooking out the water. The jam like mixture pairs beautifully with oatmeal but can also be added to yogurt, granola and smoothies. The best part is, it comes together in minutes and adds exciting flavour to our everyday oatmeal! Feel free to cook the fruits up to a week in advance and use throughout the week. Have a beautiful weekend!
Vanilla Raspberry PorridgeVanilla Raspberry Porridge

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup gluten free oats
• 1 cup water or dairy free milk
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free)
• 1/2 tsp chia seeds
• small pinch of salt
• 1 cup raspberries
• 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey will work well too!)
• 2 tbsp roasted cashews (roughly chopped)

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, cook raspberries for 5-7 minutes.

2. While the raspberries are on the stove, cook oats according to the directions of the brand.

3. Once raspberries have started to cook down, add maple syrup and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

4. Mix the vanilla, salt and chia seeds into the cooked oats.

5. Swirl the raspberry sauce into the oats. Top with cashews. Enjoy!
Vanilla Raspberry Porridge