Nikki Yelton is an Integrative & Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian Nutritionist serving clients worldwide. She offers a personalized functional medicine approach to helping women with GI distress and autoimmune conditions to get to the root cause of the symptoms holding them back so that they can start living the extraordinary life they dream of with more energy, purpose, and joy!
If you’re looking for an easy paleo dessert for the Holidays, look no further! These 10 minute mini paleo Almond Joy clusters will bring you back to your favorite childhood candy without the chemicals, preservative, and artificial ingredients.
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10 MINUTE ALMOND JOY CLUSTERS
If you’re looking for an easy paleo dessert for the Holidays, look no further! These 10 minute mini paleo Almond Joy clusters will bring you back to your favorite childhood candy without the chemicals, preservative, and artificial ingredients. Having a little something sweet is part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and these mini bites are a perfect way to enjoy the Holidays in a healthy way without overindulging.
Bring these to a get together, pack them in a tin as a gift, or enjoy them yourself this season! These clusters are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, paleo, and autoimmune-friendly. I like to make a batch and then store them in the freezer. This way I can take a few out per week and enjoy them on occasion.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE
Dark chocolate is actually something I recommend to help build a healthy microbiome because it contains antioxidants and polyphenols that help repopulate good bacteria. Dark chocolate is also helpful for many other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Not all chocolate is created equal though! It is really important to get high quality chocolate that is organic and at least 70% cacao to reap these benefits. I suggest avoiding milk chocolate bars and the chocolate treats that contain a lot of soy emulsifiers and added sugars. By choosing a high quality chocolate that is above 70% cacao, you are not only getting more antioxidants and polyphenols, but you are also getting less sugar naturally.
I personally suggest 85% dark chocolate whenever possible. There are many brands you can enjoy if you like dark chocolate and I suggest a few squares per day (up to 1oz) to get the benefits of dark chocolate without overdoing it. Most of these brands you can find on Thrive Market or at your local Whole Foods or health food store.
I’ll share my favorites and some options you can keep handy when you need a sweet treat or use to make this recipe below. These are the brands I love and trust!
Don’t forget that you can also make your own homemade chocolate by buying 100% cacao. I just heat the chocolate in a small saucepan and add a touch of coconut sugar or honey with coconut oil. I’ll add it to a silicon chocolate bar mold and I have chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants and polyphenols that support gut health by balancing bacteria in the microbiome. It also supports metabolism and reduces cravings when enjoyed daily in small amounts. Don’t be fooled though, not all chocolate is created equal, which is why I created this dark chocolate guide to help you choose the exact brands that will help you get the most out of your chocolate indulgence! One thing to look for in a brand is that it contains 85%+ cocoa content. A good serving size would be about .5 – 1.0 oz per day (Pictured). Below are the brands I love and trust!
This recipe is so simple with only 4 ingredients including dark chocolate, coconut oil, shredded coconut, and almonds. I like to add a touch of sea salt on them too once they are still wet to bring out the natural sweetness.
You can use a microwave for this recipe but I prefer to use a saucepan. Just add the chocolate and coconut oil and stir until it’s all melted and combined. Line a pan with parchment paper and set aside. Then take the almonds and mix it into the chocolate and use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to drop them on the tray in even clusters (about 4-5 almonds each).
Make sure you add the shredded coconut and sea salt (optional) right away to the clusters and then add to the freezer to harden for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Remove from the freezer and enjoy immediately or store in the fridge/freezer and take out a little at a time.
There’s so much you can do with this paleo dessert! Instead of almonds, use hazelnuts, peanuts, or even dried fruit like raisins, goji berries, diced apricots, or cranberries. If you don’t like shredded coconut, try hemp seeds or even just sea salt. For a list of kitchen tools and baking products, visit my resource page for more inspiration.
If you’re looking for easy paleo holiday dessert recipes, look no further! These 10 minute mini paleo Almond Joy clusters will bring you back to your favorite childhood candy without the chemicals, preservative, and artificial ingredients.
5oz 70% + organic dark chocolate (Hu gems)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 cup organic almonds
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Heat the chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan (low heat) and stir until melted and combined.
Line a pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Add the almonds to the chocolate and gently incorporate
Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to drop them on the tray in even clusters (about 4-5 almonds each)
Make sure you add the shredded coconut and sea salt (optional) right away to the clusters and then add to the freezer to harden for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Remove from the freezer and enjoy immediately or store in the fridge/freezer and take out a little at a time. Make it your own and modify with your favorite nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.
These make a great gift for the Holidays too! Just package them in a tin or jar lined with parchment paper and decorate as a gift. This would be great for the health conscious teacher, co-worker, friend, or family member in your life!
TIP: One serving = 1 cluster (with 4-5 almonds in the cluster)
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
a note from nikki:
If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment.
You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.
are you ready?
Ready to resolve your GI distress, reverse autoimmunity, and live your extraordinary life?