Snacking is important. More specifically, healthy snacking is important.
There is a fine line to straddle when picking the perfect snack. It must satiate hunger while not ruining your appetite for the next meal. It must provide some nutritional benefit, which your body can both make use of in the short term and carry over as sustainable energy. And, nearly as important as providing a nutritional boost, it must be tasty – otherwise we opt not to nosh on it. Then we either make poor food choices or wait until the next meal and potentially overindulge.
Many avoid snacking as they believe that the increased calorie intake will divert them from their ideal weight. But small, well-balanced, health-conscious snacks can actually help us stick to our healthy weight goals. By having these well-balanced snacks on hand, we mitigate hunger and are less likely in overindulge and increase portion sizes at the next meal. It is important that snacks contain a mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to keep our motors running and our minds alert and humming throughout the day.
There are typically two types of snackers: those who crave salt and those who crave sweet. This recipe caters to those with a sweet tooth – particularly chocolate lovers. The rich, deep, dark chocolate base of the button carries fats and antioxidants. Nestled atop the chocolate bottom is a medley of texturally and flavorfully contrasting jewels of dried fruits and nuts. The beauty of these buttons is that you can customize the toppings with your favorite fruits and nuts. Here we went for big colour and tropical inspiration with coconut, papaya, mango, and ginger, but feel free to change up the toppings to suit your personality.
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chips or squares that have been chopped
10 grams of candied ginger
10 grams of dried mango
10 grams of dried papaya
10 grams of roasted coconut pieces
10 grams of roasted almonds
5 grams of plantain chips
20 dried cranberries
Cut all of the toppings into approximately 20 small pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Set a medium saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water over medium heat. Atop it place a heat-safe glass bowl that fits snugly, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
Once the water is simmering, add the chocolate to the glass bowl and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until the chocolate is fully melted.
Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the heat. Using a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon, gently pour the chocolate onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, making approximately 20 round buttons.
Top the buttons with one piece of each of the toppings.
Chill the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator for an hour, then store in a re-sealable container, each button separated by a small square of parchment, for up to one week.