How to Make Healthy Holiday Bark

How to make healthy holiday bark
Photo cred: Parks Photography

Holiday bark is one of those quintessential Christmas treats in the spread of sweets at our family gatherings when I was younger. Truth be told it’s still offered and is one of those goodies that I’ve had to politely pass on lest I feel the wrath of my immune challenges show it’s ugly face.

As with many recipes from my childhood, I’ve had to do without or recreate. The good news is mostly I’ve been able to recreate my favorites, or find someone else who has. Now that I’m keeping track, one recipe I haven’t tracked down a grain free option for is krumkake. That one is not only a favorite, but it’s also a favorite memory. I remember my dad and I standing over the stove with the krumkake iron with its finely detailed print, gently rolling the quickly crisping dough hot from the iron before it cooled. Of all my cookie baking memories, that one stands out beyond all others.

Back to holiday bark. I always wondered how chunks of white stuff purchased at Joann Fabrics was turned into something we ate. Little did I know it contained hydrogenated palm kernel oil and other natural flavors. My experience was that it melted and you crushed pretzels into it and people loved it. It was one of those recipes that I found interesting, though didn’t love. I liked it enough to have a piece, but then the buckeyes would catch my attention and it was all over with.

Having my own children is what’s pushed me further into discovering what foods I’m actually interested in putting into their growing bodies. Creating recipes together in our kitchen with holiday baking is now the memory I hold near and dear. A couple of years ago after I had melted some chocolate with coconut oil for another recipe, I had some left and poured it onto parchment paper to dry. The kids broke it up into pieces and called it ‘bark’. The lightbulb went off and I ran to the cupboard for more ingredients. What I had on hand was perfect. And red and green.

How to make healthy holiday bark
Photo Cred: Parks Photography

Healthy Holiday Bark

1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 tsp coconut oil

Craisins-chopped

Pistachios-chopped

Pink himalayan sea salt

OTHER COMBINATIONS TO CONSIDER:

#2

1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 tsp coconut oil

Dried apricots

Crispy cashews (see how to roast almond recipe)

Pink himalayan sea salt

#3

1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 tsp coconut oil

Pomegranate seeds

Crispy almonds  (see how to roast almond recipe)

Pink himalayan sea salt

#4

1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 tsp coconut oil

Crushed HFCS-free candy canes

Crispy almonds  (see how to roast almond recipe)

Pink himalayan sea salt

*Pumpkin seeds are a nice addition to taste & color if you’re not fond of pistachios

  1. Chop nut/fruit combination and have himalayan sea salt in small bowl, set aside.
  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil together.
  1. Pour chocolate mix onto parchment covered cookie sheet.  It doesn’t matter what shape it takes as you’ll be breaking into pieces anyway.
  1. Sprinkle first with nuts, then with fruit, then with sea salt. 
  1. Place in the freezer on parchment paper to chill, then break apart and wrap up.  These hold best by keeping in the fridge when complete.

As do most homemade goodies around the holidays, tucking a few pieces of this bark into a mason jar with a little bit of cooking twine makes for a simple and sweet gift.

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