Sharing something different today... because it's been a weird week. And because I have some interesting things to tell you about chocolate... and magnesium :) And don't worry, I'm not trying to feed you medicine here. Just highlighting a delicious way you can turn your chocolate treats into something extra wholesome.
Before you think I've turned nutritionista on you (not that that's a problem, it's just that clearly I'm not one)... and before we get to these delicious magnesium bombs... I've got to tell you what happened to me a few summers ago. One day out of the blue I began to experience horrible leg cramps upon waking up. Some days I'd even wake up because of that. Fast forward a month, leg cramps were still happening so I did some quick research about what could be causing it, and one of the things that really stood out on the list was magnesium deficiency. I don't know why that caught my attention -- but somehow I felt there was something to that, so I added it to my list of things to explore.
Now side story: back in the day I had a roommate who ate pumpkin seed butter every morning for breakfast, and boy did I make fun of her because, well... that stuff doesn't look the prettiest :S ...and compared to peanut butter or almond butter I thought it wasn't the greatest tasting either. So basically her apples and pumpkin seed butter were always subject to friendly ridicule :) That memory came to mind, and her telling me how pumpkin seeds are super rich in magnesium. So... back to my suspected magnesium deficiency. I caved in and bought a jar, realizing the irony of now ME having that stuff for breakfast...
I started having pumpkin seed butter (a natural high source of magnesium) for breakfast every day, not really believing it would do much, but it actually turned out to be tastier than I imagined (especially homemade!). Lo and behold shortly thereafter my cramps went away COMPLETELY. I was shocked at the precise results. It's rare to see such a quick and obvious result with natural cures, but this totally worked for me.
So pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed butter became little heroes in my life. And of course, my brain immediately starts thinking... green seed butter slopped onto apples is tasty and nutritious and all, but what about something prettier, more enticing... something you could feed to others who are picky about what their healthy food looks like...
Enter magnesium chocolates. See what I'm doing here? I'm giving you a reason to NEED more chocolate ;)
Anyways cramps or not, magnesium is actually a mineral that does a lot for the body. According to studies it appears to help to reduce chronic pains (a biggie for anyone with autoimmune conditions...), helps with building bone structure, strengthens heart muscles and heart health, enables nerve and enzyme function, relaxes the nervous system (and keeps you cheery), keeps conditions like diabetes at bay (because it helps with carb and glucose metabolism), reduces PMS symptoms (!), regulates melatonin and helps you to sleep better, alkalizes the body, helps with migraines... I can keep going, but I'm sure you get it: the bottom line is that job this little mineral has in the body is ENORMOUS. So why not give the body a little boost in all these departments? Especially when all that's involved is eating a delicious treat? :)
I packed these little bars with a selection of delicious magnesium rich foods: pumpkin seeds, figs, avocado, dark chocolate (yep, magnesium is one of the benefits of dark chocolate!), and maple syrup (yep, it's got a touch of magnesium in it too). There are many other combinations you can try, but I stuck to these simply because they're tasty :)
I do have to admit, nothing will ever come close in taste for me to these raw hemp chocolates, but considering the interesting and specific benefits of these bars, they're definitely worth trying out in your routine or for inspiration, or just for the love of trying strange new things ;)
Magnesium Rich Raw Chocolate Bars
A delicious mini raw dark chocolate bar packed with magnesium rich pumpkin seeds. Vegan and gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: approx 10 bars
- Category: Bars
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Dessert
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted or raw
- 8 soft dried black mission figs (remove and discard any hard stems)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ a small ripe avocado (peeled and de-seeded)
- 1 tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or use some fresh vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups chopped / chips / chunks of dark chocolate of your choice
- 1 - 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- edible jasmine flowers, pumpkin seeds (for petals). Other ideas: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, chopped pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Place all ingredients, apart from melting chocolate and coconut oil, in a food processor and process into a sticky mass.
- Line a bread loaf pan (or anything of a similar size) with parchment paper. Transfer the processed mixture into the lined pan and press down into a smooth flat block. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour until the mixture firms up.
- Line a tray with parchment paper and place it in the freezer as well to chill (a cold tray will help your chocolates to set faster in a later step).
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl. Remove the chilled pan from the freezer. Lift the block out of the pan, trim the edges, and cut into bars (or smaller squares if you prefer). Place each bar on a fork, dip into the melted chocolate to coat all around. Run the bottom of the fork along the edge of the bowl to get rid of any excess chocolate. Then place on the chilled lined tray. Repeat until you coat all the bars. Decorate with desired toppings, drizzle with a bit of the extra melted chocolate, and place in the fridge or freezer to set for about 20 mins until the chocolate coating is firm to the touch. Enjoy! Keep bars refrigerated (or freeze some for later use).
You have me until you said alkalizes the body😩 this is physically impossible and if it were well then it would kill you. Other than that yes I completely agree magnesium is great and so essential to our health and bodily functions. What a fun idea for a chocolate bar too!! I love pumpkin seeds, usually I roast and eat them with the shells on bc less food waste after I’ve gone pumpkin picking and have done this since I was a child (my mom used to make them). I’ve never actually bought them but maybe I will!! I have bad leg cramps too and nerve pain so maybe it’ll help me with that too lol. These look super yummy too! :) do you have a brand of pumpkin seed butter you recommend by chance? I’d prob have to order it bc I’ve never even seen it in a store I don’t think and my food processor isn’t the best lol
Hi Abby, I usually buy the organic "nuts to you nut butter" brand of pumpkin seed butter as that's what I can find most commonly in stores where I live. But I'm sure most brands would work just as well if the ingredients are just pumpkin seeds.
I grew up eating pumpkin seeds just like you btw :)
Magnesium is known scientifically as an alkalizing mineral. I did not mean of course that it turns your body fully alkaline. It just belongs to the alkaline side of the PH spectrum.
Amanda Pelaez says
I want to try this recipe! It looks delicious!
One question, how long do they last?
Hi Amanda. Thanks :) If you keep them refrigerated (which they should be), they should stay fresh for 5-7 days. If you want, you can always freeze a portion and defrost them in the fridge for later use, so they can keep fresh longer that way. Enjoy!
Do you have any nutritional info for this recipe, specifically the carb count? Thank you.
Hi Dawn, no sorry I don't as I don't keep track of that kind of stuff generally. You can get that info though by running the recipe through one of the many free recipe calculator apps online to get whatever data you need.
This recipe looks amazing thanks for sharing! Do you think I could make this without figs? Any suggestions on what i could replace them with? Thanks Vee
Hi Vee. Yes, absolutely. You can use medjool dates instead. Soft dried apricots could work too, though they have a stronger unique flavor.
Can u replace the figs with medjool dates ?
What can i use for this bar instead of coconutoil? Thank you!
You can use Earth Balance, or warmed coconut butter (will have to freeze a bit longer for it to set). Otherwise you can add a bit more avocado and freeze it overnight into a solid bloc and then coat.
I've just made these and they are wonderful -- what an awesome idea to cover pumpkin seeds and figs in dark chocolate! Do you have any tips about how to get the chocolate squares smooth-looking and cleanly dipped?
When I got to the dipping stage, I realized that all my chocolate squares are really messy-looking.
So happy you liked them :)
I line a baking tray with parchment paper, and try to get it to hug the bottom and sides as flatly as possible. Once I get the filling mixture in, I first pack it down with a spoon or spatula into a more or less even block. Then I use a second sheet of parchment paper -- cover the top, and use a flat bottomed object (ideally a dish of the same size or anything else will work) to flatten it down more evenly and smoothly. I slice my squares while the filling is still fully frozen. I usually trim off the edges that look messy, then cut into squares. Then dip. I use the bits I trimmed off the edges too at the end -- just lump them into rough squares with my hands and dunk them at the end -- that way no wasting, though they're definitely not very photogenic :)
Hi! Any suggestions to use in this bar instead of avocado? Thank you!
Hey Jessee. Bananas will work well. Does that work? They are also a good source of magnesium.
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy says
another magical chocolate bar and i haven't even tried your hemp one yet!!! Those figs remind me of my parents...they always bought the dried figs and loved them =) I love that you used avo in this!
Thanks so much, Anjali. Figs were something my parents never bought in contrast. You can imagine my delight when I first discovered them :)
Same! I don’t even think I’ve ever had a fig lol I was planning on using medjool dates for this instead or possibly prunes bc I have a bunch of those to use as well. I grew up eating a very traditional American diet. My mom always made stuff healthier for sure like she always used whole grain bread and nothing fried. We would eat like grilled chicken and salmon with corn and mash potatoes. On the weekends tho it was waffles and scrapple for breakfast and ribs or cheeseburgers (my dad likes to grill) for dinner. Crazy that i was vegan for a long time and I rarely eat meat now (I don’t even like it) lol or even animal products at all. Maybe it’s bc I was given soy formula as a baby bc of lactose intolerance lmao. I do it for ethical/environmental reasons tho. My point tho is I could never imagine them buying figs lol my dad probably doesn’t even know what a fig is haha.
You can find dried figs next to the dates in most big grocery stores where I live so they're easy to come by. I just didn't even know they existed until I was in my mid twenties :D
How could i miss these beauties? Pumpkin seeds aren't my favorite, but when mixed with chocolate, they become my latest addiction! Thanks for the recipe,I know whta to do this we! :)
:) Enjoy them! I know what you mean. I had to learn to love pumpkin seeds too, all propelled by the experience I shared in this post. These days I used them lots, and have a lot of respect for those little green seeds ;)
Kyra @ Vie De La Vegan says
I love these chocolate bars, especially now that you've given me an excellent reason to eat them! When I was pregnant I got horrible leg cramps, so I loaded up on the magnesium then - lots of cacao smoothies :D
Cacao smoothies sound like a good way to go :) Glad you can relate to the leg cramps scenario... I would never have guessed that it could come down to such a specific deficiency... Thank goodness for pumpkin seeds, cacao, and avocado!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
Chocolate with health benefits, I am all for this! And the avo you snuck in there too, so clever, the pumpkin seeds needed a green companion. And I'm all for the figs, I wanted to try those in the hemp ones too! Now magnesium. Through all my tests recently I learned that I was deficient in magnesium too. Not leg cramp deficient, but slightly deficient and have been adding it in in supplement form lately too. But chocolate for is much more delicious than fizzy drink form <3 I am loving this chocolate bar streak you are on too. Chocolate bars alternating with raw cakes, I like this pattern :)
I like this streak too ?
To be honest, these are probably tastier with dates (same for the hemp bars) than figs, but I had a theme going and made it work :) Figs are higher in magnesium. Hmmm.. thinking of you... definitely dark chocolate, and figs. Also maple syrup is mineral rich (an excuse to splurge ;) ), avocado.. spinach, bananas you already have covered, I know :)
P.S. How do you and Rebecca always stay on top of latest posts so well!? :D What's your secret?
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
Oh well I still want to try the fig version, I just love figs! So many things I love are actually high in magnesium, you'd think I'd have fine levels. And bloglovin. Bloglovin is the secret. Rebecca's even better than me though!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
More reasons chocolate is one of the best foods to eat ;)
I forced my mom to start eating pumpkin seeds because she needed some magnesium and can't swallow pills :P Hahaha!
Well make her some chocolates, will ya?! I'm sure she won't mind those either ;) Much more palatable than pills... Honestly pumpkin seed butter and sunflower seed butter are my magnesium heroes.