When I was a kid, my mom loved the chocolate candy called Turtles. They were made with caramel, pecans or cashews, and covered in chocolate and were delicious, way too delicious!
It got me thinking that I could create chocolate nut clusters and control it with ingredients that I prefer.
The store bought chocolates include (nuts/ingredients vary by variety purchased):
SUGAR, CASHEWS (CASHEWS, SAFFLOWER OR SUNFLOWER OIL), CORN SYRUP, NONFAT MILK, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, PALM OIL, BUTTEROIL, LACTOSE, AND LESS THAN 1% OF SALT, SOY LECITHIN, SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICAL FLAVORS, CARAMEL COLOR
My chocolate nut clusters include (in no particular order):
Dates, raw cashews, chocolate chips (evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter), Sea Salt. You can also sub the chocolate chips with your favorite melted dark chocolate or raw cacao nibs.
Some may ask, why dates? Dates add sweetness to the recipe and not only do they provide dietary fiber but they are loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and potassium. This makes dates a better option than refined sugar that has no nutritional value.
Scrumptious Chocolate Nut Clusters
- 6 dates we use Medjool dates, soaked and pitted
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips we use enjoy life brand
- 12 raw cashews or nuts of your choice
- Pinch or two of sea salt
- Remove pits from dates.
- Soak your dates for at least 10 minutes in a bowl of water.
- Toss the soaked dates in a blender and chop (just a couple pulses of the blender)
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and form 6 circles with the date mixture. Slightly flatten them
- Place 2 cashews on top of each date circle
- Melt chocolate
- Pour chocolate evenly over the 6 pieces
- Sprinkle sea salt on top of the chocolate
- Place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before serving.
These can be stored in the refrigerator but I personally prefer the freezer.
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28