This sesame pomegranate chocolate bark is inspired by one of my childhood snacks from the Middle East – sesame brittle aka Simsemieh. It’s deliciously crunchy and sweet whilst also being packed with healthy fats and antioxidants!
Sesame seeds have long been cultivated in the Middle East and feature quite heavily in both sweet and savoury recipes. One of the most widely known ways of using sesame seeds (aka simsim in Arabic) is blended into tahini, which is basically sesame paste/butter.
They have a rich, nutty flavour that works so well in desserts and sweet snacks. Its uses go way beyond tahini though as it’s used heavily in desserts (like halva), savoury dishes (as a garnish), baked goods (a lot of breads are topped with sesame seeds), condiments (like za’atar herb mix) and snacks. A snack that we used to eat a lot growing up was Simsmieh – a crunchy sesame brittle that’s made up of sesame seeds and honey/sugar. Simsimeh is what inspired this recipe, with a few changes to make it healthier.
To make this sesame pomegranate chocolate bark healthier, I reduced the amount of sweetener I used (I only used 3 tbsp of maple syrup in the whole recipe!) and added tahini to help everything hold together without the need to add more sugar.
I also topped it with dark chocolate for added yumminess and antioxidants as well as pomegranate seeds for added crunch (plus more antioxidants!).
I love making easy, few ingredient treats like this one that you can store in the fridge for a grab-and-go snack that’s tasty, but also good for you. This sesame pomegranate chocolate bark also happens to be vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, making it a great option for those with allergies/intolerances.
This recipe is easily adjusted to your likes/preferences. If you don’t have sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, you can use other seeds like sunflower seeds or even nuts (unless you’re allergic!). You can omit the chocolate topping if you want a lower calorie option, although the chocolate does add a little something something since we’re not using that much sweetener in the brittle itself.
What you need to make this sesame pomegranate chocolate bark:
Sesame seeds – as well as offering a nutty flavour and satisfying crunch, sesame seeds are also a nutrient powerhouse. Including protein, healthy fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins. They’re also a source of antioxidants such as lignans and vitamin E.
Pumpkin seeds – Like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds are also packed with essential nutrients. They
Tahini – Tahini is the Middle Eastern equivalent to peanut butter, almond butter, etc. Made by blending sesame seeds into a paste. Like nut butters, it has a nutty flavour with a slight bitter aftertaste (the kind of bitterness you would find in dark chocolate or coffee). I only use Middle Eastern/Lebanese tahini – the quality and texture surpasses any others I’ve tried.
Maple syrup – To sweeten this bark, but also works to hold everything together and makes the bark super crunchy once it’s cooled down. You can use other liquid sweeteners like honey, agave, rice syrup, etc.
Dark chocolate – You can skip the chocolate if you like, but I find the combination of roasted seeds and chocolate so irrisitable! Dark chocolate (70% and above) is also a great source of antioxidants, so why not!
Pomegranate seeds – another great source of antioxidants (polyphenols and anthocyanins), they also add a lovely crunch and a hint of fruitiness. Not to mention they make the bark look so pretty when served! They add the most beautiful pop of red.
Salt & cinnamon – A pinch of salt helps enhance and bring out all the flavours. I also find that cinnamon works really well with roasted seeds/nuts. You can of course omit if you don’t like it.
This sesame pomegranate chocolate bark is:
- Packed with antioxidants
- A source of healthy fats
- A source of protein
- Super easy to make
- Easily adjustable to likes/preferences
- Great to satisfy both your sweet and crunchy cravings!
- A great snack/healthy dessert to have in the fridge
If you liked this sesame pomegranate chocolate bark recipe, you may also like this date chocolate bark recipe!
Sesame Pomegranate Chocolate Bark
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F.
- Mix the sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
- Add the tahini and maple syrup. Mix to combine everything together.
- Spread into a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
- Spread the melted chocolate and top with the pomegranate seeds. Chill in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
- Break up or chop into pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.