*Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters – Stevia Powder
This amazing recipe for antioxidant rich dark chocolate clusters was birthed after a recent trip to a grocery outlet store. I found Lindt Dark Chocolate that had just outdated, on sale at 3 for $1.00!! No chocolate lover could pass up that deal. So I scooped up 3 and my brain instantly started churning as to what I would do with them. I love to experiment with all of our stevia natural sweeteners and flavors and since a customer had recently asked about how to make chocolate balls with stevia, I decided to try a new nut cluster recipe. I was extremely happy with the first batch and love this combination of toasted almonds, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and stevia to sweeten up the bitter dark chocolate.
*I titled these sugar free because there is no added sugar. However, there is a small amount of sugar in the dark chocolate bar.
A few things I love about this recipe before I share my “secret”:
- Dark Chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa is very low in sugar. After all the ingredients are added, I deducted each cluster had approx. 1 gram of sugar. The pure stevia powder makes this sweeten up perfectly, just like a store bought almond cluster without any weird aftertaste.
- Then, the peanut butter and nuts make this a high protein treat.
- Lastly, you are getting a large amount of antioxidants in the dark chocolate.
- Safe sweet treat for Diabetes or those watching their blood sugar levels
So overall, this is an incredibly healthy and delicious treat or snack that the whole family will enjoy. I have to admit that I have been eating at least 1 everyday. Your mind tells you to feel guilty because it tastes so sinfully delicious and seems like such an indulgence…… but these are very healthy & nutritious!
I started by lightly toasting the almonds. I prefer to eat almonds raw since you get more nutrients but the taste is not the same for clusters. Then melt the dark chocolate in a pan over low heat. Add the peanut butter and stevia after the chocolate has melted and stir well. When these three are blended, add the roasted nuts and stir until they are completely covered.
Lay out a large piece of wax paper on a cutting board or something that will fit in your freezer. (After I did this step I realized the clusters were not solidifying and needed to be in the extra cold of the freezer) Drop the covered nuts onto the wax paper. The mixture is very runny and I tried to pile the nuts in a cluster to avoid them flattening. Place clusters in the freezer for 30 min. to 1 hour. After these have completely chilled, they are ready to serve and eat. I left them out and they stayed firm, however, I decided to store mine in the freeze until ready to eat for fear they may be soft and difficult to handle. The less wax & “garbage” you have in chocolate, the faster it will melt. A pure chocolate without a bunch of unnecessary ingredients will begin to melt very quickly in your hand. On the contrary, chocolate that you put in your mouth and need to chew to soften, will be mostly wax and “other” impure ingredients that are just fillers.
Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters Recipe
Makes approx. 25 clusters
1 Dark Chocolate Bar 70% cocoa or higher
1 1/2 Cups toasted almonds ( could substitute peanuts, pecans, walnuts, or cashews for variety)
1/2 Cup Natural smooth peanut butter
1/16 teaspoon Stevia Select pure stevia powder
For raspberry chocolate clusters, add 20 drops of Stevia select chocolate raspberry flavor into the chocolate. Make sure chocolate has slightly cooled since extreme heat will lessen the flavor.
Chocolate Raspberry Clusters…..YUM!
Follows directions outlined in this article for best results.
Please let me know how you enjoy this recipe or find new ways to make it better. I love hearing from my readers!