Tuesday, February 5, 2019

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CLUSTERS









CHOCOLATE ALMOND CLUSTERS

A particularly easy, delicious and satisfying treat for Valentine’s day!  There is no way to do a really accurate nutritional analysis of these clusters, as some pieces will break off bigger and others smaller, however, you will get roughly 30 clusters, so that’s what I’ll base the analysis on to give you an approximate idea.  Since the ingredients are all legal, I don’t think it is a big issue, even for strict carb counters.  You will love these!  Great feel-good energy boosters too!

2 cups raw almonds, OR blanched almonds* (500 mL)
1 coffee sweetener packet
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
3/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips, OR (175 mL)
  Hershey's (at Wal-Mart)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/3 cup sugar (75 mL)
Preheat the oven to 325°F (150°C).

On cookie sheet, spread out the raw almonds.  Roast 12 minutes and allow to cool.  In food processor, chop almonds along with salt and coffee sweetener until they are the size you desire.  Sift through a regular coarse colander to get rid of the fine grinds, which you can keep for another use (add some melted butter and sweetener to sprinkle over a dessert or yogurt).

In heavy saucepan or double boiler, melt chocolate chips and salt. Stir in liquid sweetener. Stir in the prepared almonds.  Spread out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to an 8 x 6-inch (20 x 15 cm) rectangle more or less.  Freeze about 20 minutes.  Break off clusters and enjoy.  I like to keep mine in the refrigerator.


Helpful Hint: I think in hindsight I would use blanched almonds instead.  Raw almonds were all I had in the pantry.

Yield:  30 clusters
1 cluster
70.2 calories
1.9 g protein
5.6 g fat
1.0 g fiber
0.8 g net carbs

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