Chocolate-Covered Chia Snack Mix
To say that I am a creature of habit would be to grossly understate my proclivity for following the same routine every day, whenever possible. It probably sounds boring, but I find comfort in routine and it allows me to feel like I am in control of my day. Sometimes having control over my day means figuring out how to deal with something I don’t seem to have any control over. Case in point, every day, around 3:00, I find myself looking for candy. Chocolate, to be specific. Preferably dark chocolate. With something else mixed in to give it some texture. Every day is the same, and every day I end up raiding the blasted candy bowl sitting on our reception desk. At best, I get a mini Krackel bar and at worst it’s the last piece of rock hard caramel that is only left in there because other people with apparently more discerning tastes wisely decided to invest their calories elsewhere.
It was with this exact scenario fresh in my mind that I started experimenting with a snack mix of some sort. Dark chocolate was key. If I was eating chocolate, I may as well add some things to give it texture, so in went the oats and chia. The roasted almonds make it all just a tad bit salty and the dried cherries give it some extra sweetness. I pack 2 T. of it in a little container and it is just enough to fulfill my chocolate fix in the afternoon and help me to avoid the dreaded office candy bowl.
The mix can be prepped in no time. Oats and coconut are toasted and then combined with chia seeds and it all gets added to melted chocolate and spread on a cookie sheet to cool and harden. Once it’s cool, break it into small pieces, mix with almonds and cherries, and you’re done! The most time consuming part is waiting for the chocolate to melt in the double boiler, described below as a Pyrex bowl on top of a pot, because who do you know that actually owns a double boiler? I like this method because it works well and I have a history of scorching chocolate in the microwave. As it turns out, on top of being a control freak, I’m also super impatient so microwaving anything in 30 second increments just doesn’t work for me. Imagine that!
I prefer this with the 60% cocoa chips because I love dark chocolate that is slightly bitter and not overly sweet, but you could also use regular semisweet or milk chocolate chips as well. Ditto with the dried cherries. Feel free to substitute dried cranberries or even cherry flavored cranberries or some other dried fruit entirely. Doesn’t every fruit go with chocolate? Answer: HECK YEAH. I buy unsweetened shredded coconut at a bulk food store, like Peights (in Huntingdon County), Shady Maple (for those Southeast PA folks!), or you may be able to find it at your local grocery store in the natural food section. Even Olive loves (her exact word!) this snack mix, and if you knew anything about her, you would consider her wanting to eat it to be the equivalent of a giant gold star in our house! I like it so much, I’m thinking about mixing up a giant batch and giving it as holiday gifts. Note: If you get one, pretend to be surprised.
(Per 2 generous tablespoons)
Calories: 116 Fat: 6.3g Sugar: 6.2g Carbohydrates: 12.7g Protein: 3g Fiber: 2.5g
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I like the 60% cacao Ghirardelli chips)
- 1 cup lightly salted roasted almonds
- 1 cup dried tart cherries (such as Sunsweet)
- 1. Cook coconut in a skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add oats, stirring often, until coconut and oats are lightly toasted. Set aside.
- 2. Place a heat safe bowl (such as Pyrex) over top of a medium pot filled halfway with water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Pour chocolate chips into the bowl and bring the water in the pot to a simmer. The heat from the simmering water will begin to melt the chocolate chips. Stir the chocolate often. Once the chocolate is melted, add the oats, coconut, and chia seeds and stir to coat.
- 3. Spread chia and oat mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. You could put the tray in the freezer to speed that process up if you are in a hurry.
- 4. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled and hardened, cut it up into small chunks. Combine the chocolate chunks with almonds and cherries. Store in an airtight container.
- Feel free to substitute milk chocolate or other kinds of dried fruit!