How to Make Healthy Holiday Bark

Grain free dairy free holiday bark

Holiday bark was 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. But it is one of those goodies I’ve had to politely pass on, lest I feel the wrath of my immune challenges.

As with many recipes from my childhood, I’ve had to do without or recreate. The good news is I’ve been able to recreate most of my favorites, or find someone else who has.

Now that I’m keeping track, one recipe I haven’t tracked down is a grain free option for is krumkake, a Norwegian waffle cookie. 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. Let me know if you have a grain-free version!

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 artificial flavors. My experience was that it melted and you crushed pretzels into it and people loved it. 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 pushed me toward discovering what foods I’m actually interested in putting into their growing bodies. Creating holiday baking recipes together in our kitchen is now a 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.

Holiday bark in mason jar

Healthy Holiday Bark

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Dried cranberries, chopped
  • Pistachios, chopped (pumpkin seeds are a nice addition to taste and color, if you’re not fond of pistachios)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt

Other combinations to try:

Apricot and Cashew Holiday Bark

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Dried apricots, chopped
  • Crispy cashews, chopped (see how to roast almond recipe)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt

Pomegranate and Almond Holiday Bark

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Crispy almonds, chopped (see how to roast almond recipe)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt

Peppermint and Almond Holiday Bark

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Crushed HFCS-free candy canes
  • Crispy almonds, chopped (see how to roast almond recipe)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  1. Chop nut/fruit combination and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate and coconut oil together.
  3. Pour chocolate mix onto parchment covered cookie sheet. It doesn’t matter what shape it takes as you’ll be breaking into pieces anyway.
  4. Sprinkle first with nuts, then with fruit, then with sea salt. 
  5. 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.

Try tucking a few pieces of this bark into a mason jar and tie a bow with a little bit of cooking twine for a simple and sweet gift.

A few other healthy holiday-esque recipes to try:

Photography by Parks Photography