Everyone LOVES Chocolates!

According to the website Foodimentary, November 29th is National Chocolates Day. I’m sharing yummy chocolate treats with Christine on Atlanta and Company today during the noon hour on NBC 11 Alive in Atlanta!

  • Chocolate comes from the Aztec word “xocolatl” which means “bitter water”.
  • Switzerland is one of the top countries for chocolate consumption. The Swiss consume about 22 lbs of chocolate, per person, per year. Americans come in 9th in the world, consuming about half or 11 lbs of chocolate per year.
  • Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Perhaps this is where they saying, “Money grows on trees” came from.
  • Allowing chocolate to melt in your mouth produces the same or even stronger reactions as passionately kissing.
  • Most cocoa comes from West Africa.

How to choose chocolate that’s better-for-you? Its easy to find chocolate in any grocery store. Here’s the three tips to know

  1. Look for chocolate as the first ingredient
  2. Look for chocolate that is 60% cocoa solids
  3. Look for chocolate that is NOT dutch processed or processed with alkali

Chocolate Bark

4 (3.5 OZ) 70 – 85% Dark Chocolate Bars (I like Lindt Chocolate)

YOUR choice of toppings

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle topping over the chocolate and place in the fridge until the chocolate hardens. Break the bark into small pieces and serve.

Chocolate Sugarplums

½  Cup Pitted Dates

½ Cup Dried Apricots

½  Cup Pitted Prunes, chopped

½ Cup Chopped Figs

1 ½  Cup Dried Cherries or Raisins

OR 3 ½ Cups chopped dried fruit of your choice – just make sure you have some sticky fruit like prunes or figs

½ Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate

1 ½  Cup Chopped Toasted Nuts, (Walnuts, Pecans or Almonds)

3 TBs Orange Zest

2 TBs Orange Liquor OR 2 TB Orange Juice

½ Cup Raw Sugar

Place the dried fruit, nuts and zest into the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped; add the juice or liquor and pulse until combined and you can shape the mixture into 1” balls. Roll the balls in the raw sugar and place on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Let air-dry until no longer sticky about 2-3 hours.

***Want to make it even better for you? Instead of rolling the bars in raw sugar, roll them in finely chopped nuts!

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

2 (3.5 OZ) Chocolate Bars

About 24 Dried Figs, Peaches, Pears, Apples or Apricots

½ Cups Chopped Nuts if desired

Melt the chocolate over very low heat, in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip the dried fruit in the chocolate and place on parchment paper until dried. (If desired, you can dip the chocolate in the chopped nuts after dipping in the chocolate.)

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