Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so it’s time for a hit of chocolate. Since my sweetie and I are avoiding wheat at the moment, I decided to combine decadent dark chocolate with luscious dried apricots and pistachios instead of making a flour-based dessert. The result is a tasty snack or a nice sweet bite after a meal.
Apricots are full of Vitamin A, fiber and potassium. Dark chocolate is good for your brain and your heart. Pistachios boost the health of your eyes, immune system and skin.
These dark chocolate-dipped apricots sound like the perfect thing to make for your Valentine except for one little teeny problem: dried apricots can cause intestinal distress and gassiness in some people. This is not exactly the perfect precursor for a romantic evening. However, if someone breaks up with you just before Valentine’s Day, this might just be the perfect good-bye gift.
Some say that the reason for the digestive discomfort is that dried apricots are treated with sulfur dioxide gas and/or sulfites during processing so that they will maintain their bright orange color. Others say it’s just the fiber in the apricots themselves. If you can find unsulfured dried apricots, they will definitely be worth the extra effort in taste and peace of mind even though they won’t look as pretty. If the only dried apricots you can find contain sulfur, soak them in water, drain them and poach them lightly to minimize their unpleasant effects.
Make it vegan/dairy-free: Use vegan chocolate chips.
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Apricots
Adapted from The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, MD
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or 2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
24 dried apricots
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. (I use the rack of my small broiler pan.)
Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, microwave another 30 seconds, stir. Repeat this process until chocolate is completely smooth.
Dip apricots halfway into the chocolate and let excess drip off. Place on prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate areas with pistachios.
Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least an hour.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving (3 apricots): 90 calories, 3g fat (2g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 17g carb, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 2g protein