Now that I have a plethora of roasted pumpkin seeds, I thought it would only be fitting to make a pumpkin seed bark complete with dark chocolate and sea salt. After all, it's Halloween! My absolute, all-time favorite holiday of the entire year. Since my kids are going to be raking in sweets trick-or-treating tonight, I figured I would indulge in a special occasion treat myself.
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Can I eat dark chocolate on keto?
Dark chocolate is a tricky ingredient! If you choose a dark chocolate with a really high cacao percentage, the carbohydrates will probably be low enough to fit within your carb limits as a treat here and there. The problem is that even the chocolate bars with 90% cacao still have added sugar in them.
If you are avoiding added sugar in addition to watching your carb intake, your best bet would be to find a decent sugar-free chocolate to use or stick with 100% cacao. Although it's bitter, pure cacao nibs are just that: cacao. No sugar or weird additives you have to watch out for.
I'm not huge on sweets in general, but for a dark chocolate bark recipe, pure cacao was a bit too bitter for my taste, and I decided to go with a sugar-free dark chocolate sweetened with stevia and erythritol instead.
Is sugar-free chocolate low carb?
It depends on what you mean by sugar-free. Most of the sugar-free chocolates and candies you find at the grocery store contain maltitol. This ingredient has a high glycemic index, so it will spike your blood sugar, cause sugar cravings and can even affect nutritional ketosis. It's also a prime suspect for those not losing weight on keto. Maltitol is essentially sugar; the fact that they can legally label them "sugar-free" and get away with it still surprises me. Oh, it'll also probably leave you with horrible gas, bubble guts, or worse yet, make you crap your pants. So there's that. Don't do it, guys.
If you want a keto friendly sugar free chocolate, look for brands that sweeten with erythritol or stevia. Both of these ingredients have a zero glycemic index and taste incredible. They also don't cause the usual gastrointestinal distress that maltitol causes. If you love a little sweetness in your chocolate but can't do sugar, Lily's chocolate is a pretty good choice. It's really low in carbs and is sweetened with both stevia and erythritol. Some of the bars do contain soy, however, so be aware if that's something you avoid in your diet. And if you know of any other good healthy chocolate choices, let us know in the comments below!
Looking for other low carb chocolate recipes to satisfy your Halloween sweet tooth?
Try one of these:
- Keto chocolate with macadamia nuts & sea salt
- Keto chocolate pots de creme
- Low carb chocolate chip pancakes
Pumpkin Seed Bark Recipe with Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt
- Melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat until the dark chocolate has completely melted.
- Reserve a small amount of the roasted pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top, then combine the rest of the seeds with the melted chocolate.
- Pour chocolate pumpkin seed mixture into an 8 x 4-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Use a rubber spatula to help transfer the mixture into the container and smooth it into an even layer.
- Evenly sprinkle the sea salt and reserved toasted pumpkin seeds on top of the mixture. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature until set (about 2 hours) or pop in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to speed the process.
- Cut chocolate into 10 pieces.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published author dedicated to helping people thrive and succeed using low carb and keto dietary patterns.