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Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters

Posted Mar 22 2010 9:41pm
In preparing for Easter, I decided to make my own sugar-free candy (healthy treats) this year. The kids usually get a variety of raw nuts and dried fruits hiding inside those little plastic Easter eggs. That Easter bunny is just too darn healthy! Sometimes he leaves jelly beans and a lollipop too. Since chocolate can strongly affect some children, I'd recommend wrapping only one of these chocolate clusters up in a small square of parchment paper, tied up with a pretty ribbon, for your child. I have no doubt that the adults in the house will munch the rest.

We have just returned from Hawaii - our Vitamin D prescription for the winter (if you are following us on Facebook , you'd already know all about our trip!)! Our family enjoyed the sun and all of the fresh produce the islands have to offer. One of our favorite treats is, of course, the macadamia nut. We bought the roasted, salted variety while there but they weren't nearly as tasty as the crisp, raw unsalted type we found. Hence, macadamia nuts inspired many recipes. Don't worry if you aren't a fan of nuts, I have a number of fresh recipes AND an uncooking video to share soon!

The recipe I am about to share is a new one, in fact, I created it today! I have had the idea whirling around in my mind for a while. You know how ideas are. Sometimes they take their time to come 'round. I took a glance last night at Kim's lovely Affair's of Living Blog after a comment she left here on my Teff Sandwich Bread . She has many fabulous recipes posted, including one for Choco-Coco Nests . Once I saw her photo, the recipe began to take shape. I fiddled with it today and on the third try I got it.

Folks, this is a recipe to make YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE! Not melt chocolate. It is very easy, let's get to it! :)

Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters

This is a recipe to make your own sugar-free chocolate. The options are endless. Replace the macadamia nuts with chopped raw almonds or sunflower seeds. Use chopped dried fruit in place of the shredded coconut. Add vanilla and nothing else. Pour the liquid chocolate into candy molds. Chill. Homemade chocolate for your sweetheart. However, if you would like to make this recipe without going to the trouble of finding cocoa butter, simply melt approximately 2 cups (12 ounces) of Dagoba Choco Drops over very, very low heat then add the remaining ingredients (except cocoa butter and cocoa powder). Note that Dagoba Choco drops do contain cane sugar. Please visit the post we did on the Links to Products We Use to help identify and find ingredients in this recipe. Raw macadamia nuts can be found at most natural health food stores and co-ops here on the mainland.

6 ounces cocoa butter
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
2 teaspoons almond flavoring
20 drops liquid stevia (or more to taste)
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups chopped raw macadamia nuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Place a piece of parchment paper over a large cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer to chill.

Raw Cocoa Butter chunks

Place the cocoa butter chunks into a 2-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder. Then add maple syrup, stevia, and salt; whisk well.

Turn off heat and stir in macadamia nuts and shredded coconut. Let mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Then drop by the heaping tablespoonful onto the chilled cookie sheet. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

Since this chocolate is not tempered it does slightly melt in your hand. Store the clusters in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freeze for a month or more. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

If you are interested in seeing a version of a cookie recipe in our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook , then check out Alisa's version of my Cashew Cookie on her blog, One Frugal Foodie ! She also posted my Collard Hummus Roll-Ups .

I thought I might share a family photo taken a few days ago in Hawaii......and I have a question for you...

We packed food with us like grains, beans, nuts, and seeds but....What is the ONE spice we packed with us? Please leave a comment below (if you leave an anonymous comment then please sign your initials!) Those that have the correct guess with be entered to win a FREE copy of our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook! If you already own a copy then you could enter to win one for a friend. Contest is open until Thursday, March 25th, 9pm PST.
Aloha!

Update: The Contest is now CLOSED. Thanks everyone for your guesses!

The ONE spice we brought with us was CUMIN! I didn't consider Herbamare a spice. It is a salt/seasoning in my book, but we did bring it with us. Since so many of you guessed this and I didn't clarify, we chose a name from the Herbamare guesses too.

WINNERS:
For the Cumin group: Chaos and Love
For the Herbamare Group: Shanda

Could you both please email me at with your shipping addresses? Thanks! :)

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