A Valentine’s Treat for Your Heart

This month we are featuring dark chocolate; what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a heart healthy treat made with dark chocolate, toasted almonds and cherries! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may hellp to improve blood sugar, boost HDL “good” cholesterol and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol.  In addition, the almonds in this recipe are a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats and the cherries are full of disease fighting and immune-boosting phytonutrients!

Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters
Serves 12
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  2. 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  3. 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
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Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and cherries. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Melt half of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the water is not touching the top of the pan.
  3. Remove the double boiler from the heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate until melted.
  4. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom of the pan and set aside for a moment.
  5. Replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while you make the clusters.
  6. Stir the fruit/nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablespoon-size clusters of the chocolate onto the baking sheet about one inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to cool and set for about 20 minutes.
  7. Store and serve at room temperature.
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Adapted from Ellie Krieger @ So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week
Adapted from Ellie Krieger @ So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week
Savor Health https://savorhealth.com/

Jessica Iannotta, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

Jessica is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. She obtained her Master's degree through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Jessica has worked in inpatient and outpatient oncology settings since 2001 in the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Jessica is in charge of all operations including clinical and culinary operations ranging from menu development to evidence-based website content, relationships with registered dietitians and social workers and developing processes and protocols for intake, management and outcomes analysis of patients.

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