Rachelle Burton, a flight attendant for a major airline, is beautiful, fun, and in perfect shape; she always eats very healthy – never fast food or chain restaurant food. But that doesn’t stop her from making and eating treats once in a while. She says that her secret to not eating dozens of these Cherry Almond Clusters is to keep her own stash in the freezer (so she has to think before eating one) and to give lots of them away to friends, family, her trainer, her neighbors, and her flight attendant friends.
Rachelle lives in Michigan and insists that dried Michigan cherries are much better in these luscious treats; she orders them online in multi-pound packages. If possible, when purchasing cherries for these clusters, check the ingredient list to make sure there is no added sugar. Also, use the highest-quality, best dark chocolate you can get, at least 60-80% Cacao. Believe it or not, dark chocolate has some nutritional value, is loaded with anti-oxidants, and is even considered a necessary food group by those of us who want an excuse to eat it daily (see disclaimer at the bottom of this article).
If you have a few minutes time, you can have these made and stowed in the freezer before anyone else even suspects there’s chocolate in the house.
1 cup raw almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (see note below)
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
10 ounces dark chocolate, preferably 60-70% Cacao
- Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Mix the almonds and cherries in a bowl.
- Break the chocolate into a microwaveable container and microwave 1 -3 minutes, stirring every minute, until smooth and melted.
- Pour the chocolate over the almond/cherry mixture; stir until well-mixed.
- Using a teaspoonful-size scoop, scoop mounds onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the refrigerator until set.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place or the refrigerator.
Note: The easiest way to toast almonds is to place them on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 350° oven for 8-10 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92 Calories from Fat 50
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 54% Protein 8% Carb. 38%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 2 mg
Sodium 9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%
Disclaimer: While most of us recognize that chocolate is not really a nutritional food group, the nutritional value and anti-oxidant aspects regarding dark chocolate are actually true and have been discussed by experts in dozens of informative articles over the last few years.