Friday, March 25, 2016

Chocolate Coconut Clusters for Spring!




It’s officially Spring, which means it’s time to break out the bright colors, the flirty dresses and of course, the super cute sweets!
I find it funny that the winter holidays are the only ones taking a bad rap for being the time to indulge, but when you think about it, there are plenty of occasions year-round where we encounter sweet sabotage.
There are the bunny rabbit cupcakes, beach ball cookies, and endless backyard barbeques that can leave you wondering where all these calories are coming from.

I decided to put a healthy spin on a classic Springtime treat from my childhood. My mom would always make little bird’s nest candies with Chow Mein noodles, peanut butter chips, and the adorable mini eggs. As cute as they are, they're loaded with empty calories… I mean, it’s candy after all. So I thought, what if I swap out some of those non-nutritional ingredients for something that packs a little more of a punch. I started with semi-sweet chocolate base and added in some Kelapo Coconut Oil to give it that nutty taste with the added benefit of healthy fats! Next up, I traded out the old school Chow Mein Noodles for Fiber-rich cereal such as Kashi GO Lean. The shape of this cereal was exactly what I needed to maintain the nest like shape.

After adding some toasted coconut, these treats were just about done. Don’t get me wrong, you can stop here and serve them year-round, but given the time of year, I decided to jazz them up with some Springtime candies.





Ingredients:
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups of Fiber cereal
1 cup shredded coconut

Preparation:
In a double boiler, or stacked pans with water in the bottom, melt down your chocolate until smooth.

Remove from heat add the cereal to the chocolate. Gently stir to make sure that the chocolate covers all of the cereal. You do not want excess chocolate in the bowl, so add in more cereal if needed.

Drop heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate cereal mixture on to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Set aside.

In a dry pan, toast shredded coconut over a low heat until it begins to turn golden brown. Quickly remove from heat to insure it doesn't burn. Once cooled, sprinkle over the chocolate clusters and put in the refrigerator to set. At this point, you can be done. However, if you would like to decorate the clusters, do so now with your favorite candy decorations!

Store these clusters in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.