Looking down into the small palm of my hand, opening the golden foil with the ruby red writing with coconut roughs written across the shinny disk, was such a treat as a young child. My earliest memory was that they cost about 15c. It was one of those things I choose as a child when I was given 20c or 50c to spend in a milk bar. Even as a kid I loved the taste of toasted coconut with chocolate, I think it's another one of those perfect food marriages.
For something different and to entertain my adult palate, I invented these about 15 years ago. I was making chocolates for Christmas gifts, using a few chocolate moulds I had. Once all my moulds were full of chocolate, I thought, what can I do with the remaining melted chocolate? I didn't want to waste this precious food. As is my way, I began to experiment. I added the ingredients below in the recipe (and maybe some black pepper?).
I think pepita's are wonderful with chocolate. They have a great crunch. They like sunflower seeds are very good source of anti-oxidant vitamin E; Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. It prevents tissue cells from the free radical mediated oxidant injury. Thus, it helps maintain the integrity of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals. Also they are a great source of protein and help to reduce 'bad' cholesterol and increase 'good' cholesterol.
Pumpkin kernels are also excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates.
Furthermore, its seeds contain very good levels of essential minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. They are one of the richest sources of manganese. Manganese is an all-important co-factor for antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. It is therefore, consumption of pumpkin kernels helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
That all said eating them with a bit of chocolate can't be all that bad, can it?!
Makes =12 small
100gm organic, fair-traded, dark chocolate, shaved
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs fennel seeds
tiny pinch of salt
Melt the shaved chocolate in a stainless steel bowl, over a saucepan of water, on a medium heat. Turn heat off once almost melted.
Gather the rest of the ingredients and add when chocolate has melted. Combine well. Allow to cool slightly if chocolate is too thin and runny.
Spoon cluster onto a plate covered with baking paper, so chocolates are easy to remove once set.
Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours then store in an airtight container for ages or share with friends!