Dark Cherry and Pistachio Chocolate Bark

Dark Cherry and Pistachio Chocolate Bark from www.thesoutherninstitute.com

I love good, dark chocolate. This wasn’t always the case! It has been an acquired taste for me, but I’m glad that I’ve come around. Lately I’ve started experimenting with making my own chocolate bark with healthy mix-ins. We all know that dark chocolate is good for us. It’s the best excuse for eating it, am I right? Did you know that a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the RDA for Iron, 58% of the RDA for Magnesium, 89% of the RDA for Copper, 98% of the RDA for Manganese, and plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium? (source) You’re doing well just eating it plain, aren’t you? But add in a couple of delicious fruits and nuts and you’re upping the ante!

I chose dried dark cherries and pistachios mainly because I thought that they’d taste amazing together, and I was right! They just so happen to have their own health benefits too!

Dried Dark Cherries
Dried dark cherries are a great source of copper! Our bodies need copper to help them produce collagen, which helps keep our tissues strong and protects us from free radicals. They also contain vitamin C!

Pistachios
These tasty nuts are full of potassium and vitamin K. They help control body weight and lower risk for heart related problems. A 1 ounce serving also provides you with 25 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-6, 15 percent of the daily value for thiamine and phosphorus and 10 percent of the daily value for magnesium. (source)

Dark Cherry and Pistachio Chocolate Bark from www.thesoutherninstitute.com

All that I did was melt a bar or so (I may have eaten a piece or two along the way) of dark chocolate in a double broiler. While it was melting I chopped the dried cherries and shelled pistachios. When the chocolate had melted I removed it from the heat and mixed in the cherries and nuts. I then poured the melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkled it with more of the chopped cherries and nuts, and left it to cool and harden. Once the chocolate had hardened I broke it into pieces.

Dark Cherry and Pistachio Chocolate Bark from www.thesoutherninstitute.com

The combination of cherries and pistachios was just as dreamy as I hoped it would be! You get the salty and sweet flavors that always pair so amazingly together, making it just about the perfect chocolate treat! You really must try it! If you don’t like one or the other of those mix-ins, then you can get creative and try another. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to chocolate, right? Have fun and enjoy!

DIY Candles.

I was compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own, as are all of my reviews. Thank you for visiting!

DIY Candles from Uncommon Goods at thesoutherninstitute.com

I have been wanting to make my own candles for quite awhile now. I wasn’t sure how much wax to buy however, or which type of wax would be the best to use. Not only that, but when I went online to look at wicks and containers, the only options I saw to buy were large quantities in bulk, and I didn’t really want to purchase that many. I wasn’t sure if I was really going to enjoy candle making once I started, and didn’t want to be stuck with a lot of supplies if I didn’t. Lucky for me I found a way to make candles myself that took all of the guesswork out of the equation, a DIY Soy Candle Kit from Uncommon Goods.

DIY Candle supplies

The DIY Soy Candle Kit came with just enough of everything I needed, including clear instructions. It was perfect! It even came with lavender essential oil, which I was really pleased with, although I have plenty of that here at home, and many others to choose from as well, for future candle making endeavors.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

The instructions made this fun little project so easy, and really quick too! The part that took the longest was waiting for the wax shavings to liquify. Once they were ready, it took hardly anytime at all to pour the candles and place the wicks.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

While the candle wax was cooling and hardening I went ahead and completed the labels that came with the kit. I love that this kit came with printed labels with space for me to write my own name and the date that I made the candles! This gives such a personal touch if giving the candles as a gift, which I plan on doing. I think the gift receivers are going to love them!

candle lids

From start to finish, making my own candles with the DIY Soy Candle Kit from Uncommon Goods took about 24 hours. The actual candle-making part took under an hour from opening the package to setting the candles to cool (I know because I opened the box about 45 minutes before I had to leave the house to pick my sons up from school). The rest of the time was cooling time. So this is a fun and easy project which is made even easier by the fact that all of the supplies are completely ready to go! I loved it! You can find that kit and many more fun personalized gifts on their website.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

A little bit about Uncommon Goods… they are such a cool company! I was introduced to them years ago through their catalog, and it’s always a happy mail day when it arrives in my mailbox because it’s just so much fun to look through. Did you see my post on my Literary Scarf? It is from their Gifts for Women section of the website…so cute! You would not believe how many compliments I get when I wear that scarf.

One of the things that I love the best about Uncommon Goods as a company is that the “Goods” not only refers to the products that they sell, but also the work that they do. Because Uncommon Goods is an independently owned business, they are able to support causes that they believe in. With every purchase, they are proud to donate $1 to your choice of their not-for-profit partner organizations. Since they started their Better to Give program 15 years ago, they have donated over $1,000,000 dollars to charities around the world! That is amazing! And so is the work that the non-profits that receive that support are doing. Here are a couple of those organizations:

Women for Women International: Women for Women International provides survivors of war and other refugee women the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stable self-sufficiency. By creating a safe space to bring women together for learning life, business, and vocational skills, Women for Women International is helping women become independent. Their newly acquired skills not only benefit themselves, but also help build stronger families and communities.

Reach Out & Read: Reach Out & Read is a network of thousands of doctors and nurses working to promote early literacy, language skills, and school readiness to young children in all 50 states. Their methods of integrating children’s books into well-child visits and encouraging parents to read to their children help lay a foundation for early educational success. Reach Out & Read is out newest partner and we are thrilled that over 18,000 customers have already donated to this amazing organization.

Next time your looking for an fun project (like DIY Candles perhaps), or shopping for a gift, visit Uncommon Goods. Support a company that is doing tangible good for others and feel great about where you shop!

The Oily Institute May Newsletter.