Christmas Chocolate Clusters

christmas clusters

Guilt-free chocolate indulgence

Christmas Chocolate Clusters

This is a slight variation of my award-winning Trail Mix Clusters recipe. It won Honorable Mention in a healthy chocolate contest and was published in Healthy Cooking Magazine, December/January 2009, p31.

I often make a batch of these and eat one or two clusters a day without guilt, knowing I am getting my heart-healthy nuts, chocolate, and fruits in a delicious morsel.

I had some dried strawberries that I substituted for the dried blueberries in the original recipe, and I used almonds instead of pecans, for a different flavor (and also because I didn’t feel like digging through my stuffed fridge looking for pecans!)

Christmas Chocolate Clusters

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried strawberries
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Mix together nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and coconut.

christmas clusters mixins

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the colorful and festive-looking mixture of seeds, nuts, and fruits. Too bad the chocolate covers all the vibrant colors.

Heat chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to melt. (You can also melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler.)

Add to the fruits and nuts. Stir well to combine.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Pretty much any combination of fruits and nuts has worked well so far, as long as you maintain some sweet and some sour in the fruit mixture; otherwise, it gets too sickly sweet.

This makes about 48 clusters, so if you have the willpower to eat only two a day, they will last you approximately three weeks.

Bet you can’t eat just one!

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