Healthy Holiday Treat Series recipe #3: a plant-based twist on chocolate turtles (#1: Festive Peppermint Brownies, #2: Gingerbread Loaf). These nut clusters are made with whole ingredients – dates & nuts – and flavored with a surprising spice mix – chili powder. These sweet, spicy, and crunchy components come together to create a delicious combo!
While it’s an option to use pure maple syrup or agave in this recipe, we went with dates because they’re a whole, natural fruit and they offer a sweet caramel-like taste. Dates are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant and offer a nice dose of fiber.
When it comes to the chocolate in this recipe, we recommend a combination of dairy-free and dark (85%+). Visit this post for help choosing the right chocolate.
Salted Caramel Nut Clusters
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine dates, vanilla extract and water in food processor until smooth.
- Add date mixture, nuts, chili powder and salt to mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined.
- Place spoonfuls of nuts onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave at least 1 inch between each cluster.
- Bake for 12 minutes, melt chocolate while baking, per package instructions.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over each cluster. Add enough chocolate to hold cluster together but nuts do not need to be fully covered. Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired. Transfer to freezer for 30-60 minutes to allow to set up.
- Green & Black’s
- Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate
- 70% and up of Lindt products (70%, 85%, 90% and 99% bars)
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