Who doesn't love a great dessert?! With Valentine's Day coming up, I know a lot of you might be trying to think of fun ways you can impress your significant others in the culinary department. I'm always trying to one-up my game with more beautiful colors, presentations, flavors and ingredients, too. I thought I'd share this creation with you to help make your man/lady fall hard for your skills in the kitchen.
I remember being a kid and absolutely LOVING the dessert pizzas we got on occasion when we went out for pizza. Naturally, I knew if I was going to make a dessert pizza, it was going to have to be WAY healthier than those heavy, decadent, sugar-bombs of my youth. Behold: The fruity, naturally sweet, caramel citrus dark chocolate dessert flatbread.
Not only does this mouth-watering treat look and taste as decadent as it's less nutrition-conscious counterparts, the preparation could not be easier. There is NO COOKING REQUIRED! It's strictly preparation and assembly.
From a health/nutrition perspective, you're almost always better off making your own meals than relying on restaurant/prepared foods. When you make your own pizza/flatbread, you have total control over the quality and quantity of ingredients you use, rather than being at the mercy of a pizza chef. Hint for all the parents/baby-sitters/aunts/uncles out there: kids LOVE making their own pizzas and this is an awesome activity for them and a way to get them interested in making their own food!
The thin pizza crusts from Flatout make the homemade pizza process a breeze. They are also lower in calories and carbs and higher in protein and fiber than any other comparable options I've seen on the market. I think that's a win in many departments! All you have to do is come up with the toppings and you have a thin crust pizza ready in minutes! If you've never tried Flatout, you can find their thin pizza crusts and wraps near the deli counter at most stores. Check out this store locator to find them at a store near you.
Did I mention this dessert is naturally sweet? The only added sugar in this recipe is the few grams in the dark chocolate drizzle. Otherwise, all the sweetness comes from fruit!
Speaking of sweet fruit, dates are one of the best natural sweeteners out there. If you haven't made date caramel, before, you're missing out! Dates have a caramel flavor and when you blend them into a smooth paste with just a little added water, they turn into an caramel substitute that's hard to differentiate from the traditional buttery, sugary topping. (Date caramel pictured above in small white dish)
The citrus preparation you see pictured above is called supreming. Supremed fruit looks so beautiful and extra fancy because it removes the meat of the fruit and leaves the pith (that bitter, white filmy part). It does take a bit of patience, and a sharp knife so use caution.
How to supreme citrus: use a sharp paring knife to cut away all the peel (cut off top and bottom first, so you have a flat surface, then run the knife down around the curved edges until all peel is removed), then make cuts along both sides of each membrane, releasing the half-moon-shaped meat of the fruit. See pictures above for a visual, and/or watch this quick video.
I suggest putting all cut fruit in a colander as you prep to let the juices flow out. You don't want drippy fruit on a flat bread. While the date caramel does provide a thick barrier and prevents the juice from getting to the flatbread, we don't want to risk a soggy flatbread.
The dark chocolate drizzle here is clutch to the finished recipe. Just melt it in a microwave safe bowl or mug with coconut oil for a shiny, bittersweet, textured topping.
Caramel Citrus Dark Chocolate Dessert Flatbread
- 1 Flatout Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
- 20 fresh dates
- 1 navel orange
- 1 Moro blood orange
- 2 kiwis
- 1 ruby red grapefruit
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 2-3 squares dark chocolate (the darker, the better! Even 80-90% would be great on this)
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp Chia seeds (optional topping)
- Zest of any citrus used (optional topping)
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint, cut into thin ribbons (optional topping)
- For the date caramel: Most dates sold in grocery stores are fairly dried out compared to super fresh dates and may require a little rehydration. If you are able to find really fresh, moist dates, you may not need to soak them. To soak: place dates in a bowl, cover with warm water for about 10 minutes. Drain dates and place in food processor or blender (I think a food processor works best here). Begin by pulsing 10-15 times, then let the blade run in the ON position while you slowly add 1 Tbsp of water at a time until the dates reach a creamy, smooth consistency. This usually takes about 2-3 Tbsp of water. Careful not to add too much water as nobody likes a runny caramel. Set caramel aside.
- Prepare fruit: Peel and slice kiwi and supreme all citrus fruit (see instruction on how to supreme citrus with pictures of orange above). Place supremed fruit slices in a colander and let juices drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Toast coconut in toaster oven for just 1 -2 minutes. All toasters are different and the coconut can burn quickly, so keep a close eye on it.
- For the chocolate drizzle: Place 3 squares of extra dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp coconut oil in a microwave safe mug or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 second interval, until the chocolate is melted. Should take about 1 minute total.
- Assembly: With all ingredients prepared it's time to assemble! Remove 1 pizza crust from the package and spread a thick layer of date caramel on entire crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch margin on all edges. Distribute fruit slices evenly across the crust on top of the date caramel. Sprinkle toasted coconut evenly on top of fruit. Using a spoon, in a zig zag pattern, drizzle the melted chocolate across flatbread from one side to the other. Finally, sprinkle with chia seed, mint, and citrus zest, if desired. Slice into even triangles (as shown in pictures) and enjoy immediately.
- This does hold up well in the fridge, so don't hesitate to make up to 1 day ahead and store tightly covered in Tupperware or with saran wrap.
- Feel free to get creative with the types of fruits you use. I went with colorful citrus because it's in season and SO delicious this time of year! Berries would be another beautiful, tasty option. I'd just stay away from fruit like apples, pears and bananas as they brown quickly after being cut and don't look so pretty on display.
What are your favorite Valentine's Day desserts? Let me know if you want any suggestions to make them just a little bit healthier. If you try this recipe, use #jeannereillyrd and show me your handiwork!
Thanks as always for following me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and sharing my work with all your friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street. :) I’m have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you know of anyone or any health-conscious companies looking for a nutrition coach or consultant, send them my way!
This is a sponsored post. It was written by me on behalf of Flatout. All opinions are 100% my own.