Adaptogen chocolate bark with edible spring flowers: the perfect thing to use up Easter candy, forgotten smoothie mix ins, and pantry items.
Ever since we started switching kitchens from the current kitchen upstairs, to the renovated first floor kitchen (long story- but yes, there were two kitchens-both were beyond ugly- and the upstairs one is turning into a large master bath), we've been in major kitchen clean out mode. Including the freezer and especially the pantry. In an effort to make sure we were reducing food waste, we wanted to use up forgotten pantry and freezer items we had acquired for unusual and specific work projects. But for normal people who don't have several pounds of goji berries lingering in the depths of the freezer, a chocolate bark recipe is great for using up chocolates and candies that have made their way into your home around a holiday. Or finishing off that bag of pretzels that won't go away. Or finally going through that bag of unsalted pistachios you bought on accident (me-unsalted is garbage and is fixed only by adding it to other flavored things).
For this spring chocolate bark, we went all in with the spring theme. This chocolate bark is a mix of 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate but I encourage you to adjust the base to your tastes. If you like sweet, you're not going to like this bark very much. The 60% cacao, while healthier, is not as sweet. Or, if you like dark chocolate A LOT, add more dark chocolate to the base. The point being, try to go for 2 1/3 cups of chocolate chips/chunks for the base.
For toppings I used edible flowers, edible rose crystals (left over from this spirulina meringue recipe), grey french sea salt (because we somehow have about 20 kinds of salt in our pantry), and bee pollen. So let's talk about bee pollen.
Bee Pollen Nutrition Benefits 101
What is bee pollen?
It comes from pollen that collects on the bodies of bees. When bees fly through the air, they build up a static charge on their bodies. By landing in/on the flowers, pollen is naturally attracted to the charge and clings to the bee bodies. Beekeepers collect bee pollen by using 'pollen traps'. And before we go any further, pollen traps are only used for a very short amount of time since bees use the pollen for food. A pollen trap essentially is an opening that knocks some of the pollen off the bees as they enter.
Why is bee pollen a superfood adaptogen?
Bee pollen is rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal compounds. Also lots of vitamins and bioavailable trace minerals. Because bee pollen is also an adaptogen, it increases the body's coping abilities with excessive physical burden and improving brain functions and the immune system.
Is all bee pollen the same?
Not by a long shot. Not only with the nutrition composition change depending on how quickly the bee pollen was packaged, but the wide species of pollen will also change the composition. It can also be different colors!
Adaptogen Spring Chocolate Bark
- 1 1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips ( 60% cacao)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon bee pollen
- 1/2 Tablespoon rose crystals
- 1/8 teaspoon French grey sea salt
- a handful of yogurt covered pretzels
- edible flowers
- Prepare parchment lined baking sheet.
- Microwave or double boil chocolate until liquid. Whisk until smooth and fully melted.
- Pour chocolate onto parchment and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula or spoon.
- Add toppings (except edible flowers unless serving immediately-see below).
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes until fully solidified.
- Chop into pieces.
- Store in fridge.
- Note: If eating over several days, do not add edible flowers directly to bark, but serve with as garnish (these are the fastest to spoil, but other than the flowers, the bark will keep).
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.