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Nutty Bacon Bark- Lunaraye's Kitchen Witchery
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Nutty Bacon Bark

Bacon and Chocolate - Yes please!

Bacon and Chocolate – Yes please!

 

When I went to visit my sister in Toronto a few months ago I was given a strict list of food do’s and don’ts. For starters there was to be absolutely no wheat or gluten related items within a 5-mile radius of her front door. Now that may seem a bit over the top, but she has had more than her fair share of dietary issues. Although she has been Gluten-free for 10-years she started having even more problems with her already tightly controlled diet. Some of these problems may stem from the fact she is a Type 1 diabetic (Juvenile onset) and there is evidence to suggest a link between Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Feeling sick every time she ate prompted her to do some serious research into a variety of diets and eating plans. Fortunately she found Diane Sanfilippo’s book Practical Paleo. I think it’s safe for me to say it changed my sister’s life drastically. Basically a Paleo diet is eating the way our ancestors did before the modern practices of farming and processed foods came into being. It advocates eating plenty of lean-meat, fruits, and vegetables. While nuts, seeds, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes are allowed in moderation, dairy products, grains, soya, legumes, and processed foods are to be avoided.

Eating a more Paleo based diet, even for a short 2-week stay, made me feel better and I certainly felt more ‘balanced’ in terms of my blood sugar levels.  Although I’m not sure I can completely stick to it, I have decided to make 3 days out of the week ‘Paleo’ days. Well, it’s a start anyway.

This recipe for Nutty Bacon Bark has been adapted from the Practical Paleo book by Shelbi Brewer on the website The Paleo Cooking Lifestyle. I too have made a few minor adjustments; the cranberries were inspired by my sister, who often snacks on pieces of dark chocolate, nuts and cranberries (not in bark form – she just piles it all into a bowl). If the bacon makes you feel a bit funny just omit it and stick with cranberries (or other dried fruit) and nuts. This bark will satisfy even the most troublesome sweet tooth!

 

Nutty Bacon Bark

Ingredients

2 bars (150g each) of good quality cooking chocolate

4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, cashews and hazelnuts)

 

Directions

Place bacon rashers on a cooking sheet lined with foil and cook at 200°C / 180°C fan / 400°F / Gas mark 6 for approximately 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy

Use a large frying pan and gently toast nuts over a low heat, once done set aside to cool

When bacon is almost done start melting the chocolate. You can use a microwave but as I don’t own one I used the double boiler method – see below

While the chocolate is melting cut the bacon rashers into small bite-sized pieces and set to one side (reserve any bacon grease)

When the chocolate has completely melted add whatever bacon grease you have. The original recipe says 3 Tablespoons but my bacon hardly had any grease so I used maybe 1/2 Tablespoon

Give the mixture a good stir and pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Sprinkle the bacon pieces, toasted nuts and cranberries over the top and set in the freezer for up to 2 hours

Remove from freezer and break into pieces

The bark can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but ours didn’t even last 3 days!

Enjoy!

 


Double Boiler Method:

You will need 1 saucepan and 1 glass Pyrex bowl that fits securely over the saucepan

Fill saucepan with just enough water so that the water doesn’t come into contact with the bottom of the bowl

Break up the chocolate into pieces as this makes it easier to melt

Heat the water until it begins to simmer

Turn off stove and add the Pyrex bowl with chocolate to the top of the saucepan

Give the chocolate a few minutes and then begin to gently stir it with a spatula

NOTE: be very careful that the chocolate does not come into contact with water as this makes it seize up. For more tips on how to melt chocolate Elizabeth LaBau has an excellent article.

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