November 7th marks an interesting food holiday... National Bittersweet Chocolate and Almonds Day. This holiday shines the light on two popular pantry items, dark chocolate and almonds. Both of these products provide a plethora of health benefits and deliciousness, so why not celebrate?

Celebrate Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate deserves more than just one day in the calendar year devoted to it. Not only does it make for an indulgent snack or a luscious dessert, its health benefits are plentiful. Dark chocolate (and especially chocolate with a high cacao percentage) is known for its copious amount of antioxidants, particularly flavonoids and polyphenols.

Antioxidants are substances found in many superfoods and vitamins that help to neutralize free radicals, which can act as toxins to the body. The levels of antioxidants in dark chocolate is even greater than that found in other notoriously healthy products such as green tea and red wine. And as if these aren't enough benefits? The flavonoids found in dark chocolate also help with cancer prevention and brain health.

Celebrate Almonds

The second part of this food holiday pairing also offer an array of health benefits. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats and protein, which make for a satisfying snack. Due to their high protein content, almonds are also a staple in many plant based diets, evidenced by the popularity of almond products such as almond milk.

Many keen food companies have taken advantage of this iconic duo of dark chocolate and almonds. Barkthins, which first hit shelves in 2013, has reached great success with their chocolate bark products, of which the “dark chocolate almond” variety is a key seller.

Barkthins, which brands themselves as “snacking chocolate” includes an assortment of irregularly shaped dark chocolate bark, loaded with toppings such as nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and grains. 

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Katie Zizmor

If you’re looking for another way to celebrate this very specific but deserving food holiday, there are plenty of retail options out there too. 1369 Coffee House in Cambridge, MA sells an “Almond Joy” hot chocolate, flavored with homemade almond syrup that mimics that of the bestselling candy bar. Or if you’re just in the mood to embrace dark chocolate, check out the drinking chocolate at L.A Burdick and grab an almond croissant from Tatte to accompany it.

Finally, if you plan on staying in, but still want to pay homage to such a unique food holiday, there are plenty of options you can make for yourself in a breeze. Top a bowl of oatmeal or chia pudding (made with almond milk, of course) with Wild Friend's chocolate almond butter, or slather some toast with almond butter and top with cacao nibs, for a dose of antioxidants and healthy fats to nourish you for the entire day.

While certainly an obscure food holiday, national bittersweet chocolate and almonds day is certainly worthy of a celebration. Follow any of these suggestions to make November 7th a day to look forward to.