My daughter is three and loves chocolate, or “chock-wit” as the case may be. It’s her one vice, and speaking woman to woman, can you blame her? Considering how well she eats, I let us both indulge in this little craving on occasion, especially after a business trip.
Before taking off on one of my trips last year, I promised, as most parents do, to return with a present. Days later, barely awake at the airport before dawn, I remembered my promise and grabbed the first thing I could find – a three-pack of Ghirardelli chocolates. My daughter was overjoyed at this unusual gift, and somewhere along the line decided all business trips should end in chocolate.
So on a recent visit to New York City, I was hounded at each of our morning and evening calls. “Have you got my chocolate yet?” she would anxiously ask. I said no most days, until finally, I’d found the perfect chocolate. At a small grocer in Brooklyn I happened upon Alter Eco’s Dark Quinoa bars. If you have a thing for Nestle’s Crunch bars like I do, you’ll never want to look back after snacking on these.
An organic, sustainable, undeniably addictive little chocolate treat, I’ve raved to everyone since finding them. My daughter and I have since depleted our stash. I’m left wanting more, but haven’t found it locally yet. So we turned our chocolate craving in to a play date in the kitchen and crafted our own.
Ingredient wise, it’s as simple as dark chocolate and quinoa. Preparation wise, it’s just a tad more work.
To toast the quinoa to bring out that nutty taste, heat a skillet on the stove top with a light mist of cooking spray. The quinoa kernels will crackle and pop, even dance across the hot surface. This only takes a minute and you want to watch it closely and keep the kernels moving to avoid burning or even slightly over cooking.
Melting the chocolate is my favorite part of the process. I use a faux double boiler and a rubber spatula to make that rich, creamy dark chocolate pourable.
Finally, you’ll pour the melted dark chocolate in to a candy bar mold. We found ours for less than $2 at a craft store.
Then, add the toasted quinoa. Top with any remaining melted chocolate, and smooth around the candy mold until all quinoa is covered. Refrigerate until firm and then crack one square at a time – as one ounce of dark chocolate each day is something dietitians actually recommend!
Why is our candy bar better than the Nestle’s version?
Ours comes with more fiber, more protein, and less sugar. So while it’s still a candy bar and you should really follow that one-ounce rule, every bite is more nutritionally beneficial than the other stuff.
Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bars
10 oz. 60% dark chocolate
1/4 cup quinoa
1. Lightly mist a skillet and when hot pour in the dry quinoa. Let it toast without burning for about 1-2 minutes.
2. Over a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate pieces.
3. Pour the chocolate in to candy bar molds, top with quinoa. Refrigerate until solid.
Try these other treats by DietsInReview.com:
Recipe by Brandi Koskie; Photos by Kacy Meinecke