When it comes to dessert and food in general, I truly believe that everything can fit in a balanced diet; foods are not inherently good or bad and one macronutrient is not better than another. The hard part about embracing this philosophy is that our society constantly bombards us with messaging that says otherwise. Diets today demonize things like sugar and carbs by promoting complete elimination or restriction of certain food groups in order to “lose weight” or “get shredded”. Although added sugars hide in many foods on the market and we as a society often consume more sugar than we should, today’s diets and detoxes focus too much on quick fixes and fail to emphasize the importance of creating healthy habits.
This idea of including all foods in your diet means embracing the grey zone AKA moderation. Oh moderation. That word that all dietitians love but struggle to explain to others. What exactly does moderation even look like and is it the same for every person? The simple answer is no. Moderation looks different for everyone but focuses on embracing the idea that all foods fit in a balanced diet. Whether that be cheese curds, pizza, bread or ice cream, eating should be enjoyable and balance doesn’t mean fearing certain foods or completely restricting them either.
Moderation means eating foods you love because they taste good, regardless of how nutritious, “clean”, or “wholesome” you believe that food to be. It means choosing foods high in fiber, healthy fats and with lots of color most of the time and enjoying “fun foods” every once in a while.
Today I’m sharing a new “fun food” of my own – Peppermint Bark. To say I was jazzed to finally follow through on this recipe would be an understatement. I love peppermint and this bark is the perfect combination of minty and sweet. Plus, it takes literally three ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make. The other great thing about this recipe is it’s adaptability. I made a version using white chocolate and Oreos and it was equally as delicious. Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean the flavors of the season have to be too!
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 3 candy canes, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
- Parchment paper
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a large sheet pan
- Add dark chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Melt for 30 second increments in the microwave
- Add the peppermint extract to the dark chocolate bowl and mix thoroughly. You can omit this if you’d like but I like it because it makes the bark extra minty.
- Pour dark chocolate on the parchment paper and spread in a layer that is ~1/8″ thick. Freeze for 10 minutes until solid
- Add white chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Melt for 30 second increments in the microwave
- Crush candy canes in a small bag until you have small pieces
- When the dark chocolate layer is solid, add melted white chocolate on top and spread to cover the dark chocolate
- Sprinkle crushed candy canes immediately and press lightly to make sure they stick
- Freeze for an additional 10 minutes until solid
- Break into pieces and enjoy! Keep in freezer in a container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months