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Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Clusters

4 oz dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips or bar)
1 cup roughly chopped dried cherries or other dried fruit
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Melt chocolate in a large microwave-safe dish (about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds) or in a double boiler. Add dried cherries to the chocolate and stir gently to coat. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Mound 4-5 almond slivers into 20 little piles on the baking sheet 2-inches apart from each other. Spoon cherries and chocolate on top of the almonds (about 1 tablespoon); evenly distributing the cherries. Using two spoons shape into a cluster. Chill for 45 minutes or until firm in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator in a wax paper lined container. Makes about 20 clusters (serving size: 1 cluster).

Nutrition facts per cluster: 65 calories, 3gm fat, 1.4gm saturated fat, 0.5gm protein, 10.5gm carbohydrate, 3mg sodium, 1.2gm fiber, 109mg potassium

This treat is fast, easy, delicious, and best of all loaded with heart healthy nutrients. Dark chocolate along with the dried cherries are full of healthy antioxidants. The sweetness from the dried cherries helps to satisfy your sweet tooth. The almonds provide heart healthy monounsaturated fat, cholesterol lowering plant sterols and a crunchy texture. Change the recipe around by trying a variety of dried fruits and nuts. Fresh berries such as blueberries or chopped strawberries would also work in place of the dried fruit.

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