What Makes This Recipe Good For You:
Dark chocolate has a heart-healthy effect because it encourages arterial flexibility and discourages plaque build-up in the arteries (these findings were published in the March 2014 edition of The FASEB Journal). Additionally, it has the ability to boost mood because it stimulates endorphin production and helps regulate certain hormones. And lastly, it has been found that chocolate can actually improve the appearance of skin: a June 2006 study found that cocoa flavanols encourage blood flow to the epidermis, cut down on the loss of skin hydration, promote skin density, and help fight against UV damage.
Broken down nutritionally, one ounce (about 2 tbs.) of these seeds has approximately 139 calories, 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, and 12 grams carbohydrates.
Walnuts: High in antioxidants, mono-unsaturated, heart-healthy fats, and Omega-3s.
Almonds: High in vitamin E (improves skin appearance and texture), calcium, and heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids (yep, those are in chocolate, too).
Pecans: High in plant sterols (helps lower cholesterol), antioxidants, oleic acid (also helps lower cholesterol), and Vitamin B3 (helps improve energy levels).
10 ounces 70% cocoa bittersweet dark chocolate
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
½ cup toasted walnut pieces
½ cup toasted pecan pieces
½ cup toasted almond slices
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Combine chocolate and coffee, place over a double boiler, heating on low while stirring until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from stove top and stir until smooth. Mix in the nuts (you can leave them raw or roast them) and chia seeds. Spread mixture on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until mixture sets (about 30 minutes). Break up chilled mixture into pieces and serve.