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Wednesday
Dec072011

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

Simplify your holiday treat making with this easy two-ingredient recipe for Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters.Welcome to Day 10 of Home for the Holidays ... Gluten-Free Style. I have had a blast following this event and being a virtual guest in the homes of 25 food bloggers. Yesterday, over at Cook IT Allergy Free, Kim treated us to a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll Cake and tomorrow the talented Brittany over at Real Sustenance will share one of her favorites—which I am sure will be divine. It has been a pretty tasty event!

If you have just joined us, here are the must-know details:

WHO: 25 gluten-free bloggers and host, Shirley of gluten free easily.
WHAT: Each sharing one recipe that means "home" and "holidays" to them.
WHEN: November 28 – December 23, 2011
WIN: Nearly 100 prizes are being given away—books, apps, magazine subscriptions, a shopping spree and the grand prize ... a Vitamix blender!!

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My mom, me, the best stepdad and dad anyone could ask for, my sister.When I reflect on Christmases of my childhood, "simplicity" comes to mind. There was nothing excessive about them—simple gifts, simple food. In retrospect, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. "Simple" meant we could be out the door by 10 and spending the rest of the day at Hapuna Beach! And yes, Santa does travel to Hawaii by canoe.

This year I thought I would follow in the footsteps of my parents. I have scaled back on the demands I would usually place on myself. The wrapping of gifts, the cooking, the baking, the getting ready for company. This year, we are going back to "simple"—and I can't wait!

Today I am sharing a two-ingredient recipe for chocolate pomegranate clusters. It's one I make with my boys—a tradition we have started and one that now means "home" and "holiday" to me.

If you love pomegranates like my boys do, you'll love this recipe. You take a bite ... sweet, decadent chocolate melts in your mouth ... and then, that burst of bright and tangy pomegranate juice. They are quite the delight and oh-so pretty! The husband calls them chocolate covered bugs. Boys! 

Oh and read Shirley's post here. She's actually toured a pomegranate orchard and has quite a few pomegranate recipes on her blog.

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Makes: 20
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy Life® are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free)
1 POMEGRANATE (I used POM Wonderful®)

Directions:

1. Slice pomegranate in half and then into quarters. Place in large bowl of water and soak 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any debris. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels. Arils must be completely dry. Let me stress that again, completely dry. To ensure this, I leave them out to air dry further for a couple hours or place them on a plate in a barely heated oven (that has been turned off). Any residual moisture will prevent the chocolate from binding to the arils and the clusters will fall apart.

2. Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini muffin cups/liners.

3. Pour chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip top bag, shake down into one corner. Place in microwave and heat in 15-20 second intervals, removing each time to knead. Continue until chocolate is smooth and viscous. Squeeze chocolate down into one corner. Snip off a tiny corner to make a makeshift piping bag.

4. Drizzle chocolate into bottom of cups. Add a layer of pomegranate arils to each cup. Drizzle with more chocolate. Repeat so that you have four layers of chocolate and three layers of arils.

5. Allow to harden in a cool, dry place. 

How to Remove Seeds (Arils) From a Pomegranate

Slice pomegranate in half (or quarters) and place in large bowl of water to soak for 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under the water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any bits of membrane. Place on a paper-towel lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels until arils are completely dry.

Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes

Check back daily for updates to list of Home for the Holidays ... Gluten-Free Style blog posts and the daily giveaways being hosted.

DAY 1 gfe–gluten free easily … Nutmeg Shortbread Flats
DAY 2 The WHOLE Gang … Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Toffee
DAY 3 Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom … Gluten-Free Fritters
DAY 4 The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen 
DAY 5 And Love it, Too!GF, DF Chocolate Pecan “Toll House” Pie 
DAY 6 Paleo Parents … Paleo Monkey Bread
DAY 7 She Let Them Eat Cake … GF, DF Candy Cane Ice Cream
DAY 8 Gluten Free For Good …Red Chile Enchilada Casserole
DAY 9 Cook IT Allergy Free … Cinnamon Bun Cake
DAY 10 Lexie at Lexie’s Kitchen ... the post you are reading 
DAY 11 Real Sustenance ...Chocolate Cinnamon Babka Bread
DAY 12 Elana’s Pantry ... Gingerbread Apple Crisp
DAY 13 The Spunky Coconut ... Peanut Butter Pie
DAY 14 Diet, Dessert and Dogs ... Anti-Candida Mint Chocolate Truffles
DAY 15 The Daily Dietribe  ... Cream Cheese Cookies
DAY 16 Gluten Free by Nature ... Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies
DAY 17 Jules Speaks Gluten Free ... Cinnamon Sticky Rolls (in the crockpot!)
DAY 18 Silvana’s Kitchen ... Pine Nut Cookies
DAY 19 Gluten-Free Cat  ... Christmas Breakfast Casserole
DAY 20 Simply Gluten Free ... Eggs Florentine
DAY 21 Alisa Cooks ...Pumpkin Bread
DAY 22 The Gluten-Free Homemaker ... Cinnamon Rolls
DAY 23 Gluten Free Gigi  ... Magical Seven-Layer Bars
DAY 24 Z’s Cup of Tea
DAY 25 Lillian’s Test Kitchen
DAY 26 gfe—gluten free easily

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If you have a blog and want to share your favorite gluten-free recipe that means “home” and “holidays” to you, please feel free to grab the badge for your post (kindly linking back to Home for the Holidays – Gluten free Style, of course)!

Reader Comments (325)

We are not going to visit my mother's family this year so no traveling more than 45 miles! no overnights anywhere simplfies everything! Plus our family is simply spending time together with gifts only for the kids! This helps us all in many ways. My father's family decided on no gifts at all, just time together. Focusing on family this year makes for a much better holiday!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise B

Lexie, what a fantastic job on your recipe and this post! Thanks so much for participating. I can't wait to make these goodies these evening. I have two pomegranates that I wasn't sure how I was going to be using. Now I do. I suspect that Mr. GFE will like the nickname that your hubby gave these treats ... as you say "boys!" LOL, but true! ;-)

Adore your photo! I have always tried to get photos using silver trays and they never come out right, but your shot is perfect with the pretty pattern reflecting in the tray. :-)

Love the family photo and your approach to the holidays! They really should be simple and meaningful. I'm rethinking my own "style" for this year right now. ;-)

xoxo,
Shirley

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

We are simplifying our Christmas this year by not traveling for the holidays!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchristine roeske

http://twitter.com/#!/christigpa/status/144400201174626304

Tweeted your post today!

christigpa at gmail dot com

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchristine roeske

We are "simplifying" the holidays by doing a fun gift exchange. We each buy a gift, but it has to start with the first letter of our last name.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

My husband and I have never done Christmas on a large scale, but my family does. I've made a point to worry less about presents for people I'm not close to and instead focus on presents I'm committed to.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeeks

Shared on Facebook:)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

This year due to my husband's deployment, I am keeping everything very low key. I look forward to making these treat with my little one. Thanks for sharing!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Shared on Twitter:)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

I like to think that we generally keep it simple. To keep from getting overwhelmed, I work on 10 Christmas cards a day till they're done, have a goal of so many gifts bought/made per week, and enjoy a date night with each of my kids over the course of the month to appreciate each one of them!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

We are only cooking gluten free baked goods this Holiday season Our home is fully gluten free now! Yay! Great post! Love pomegranates- and had not thought of putting with chocolate. callshari@yahoo (dot) come

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShari

This year we are simplifying our holidays by making things a little more casual - we used to get all dressed up to go to my parents with the whole family on Christmas eve. It is much more relaxed now. All around a great evening with the whole family!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea M

RT'd on Twitter. Love your Twitter background BTW- so cheerful!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShari

We're having a quiet day with just the immediate family. Presents in the morning and a nice brunch midday. The only "little one" this year is my new grandson and at 7 mos old he really doesn't care about Christmas. He does like the lights though.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna B

Fact is, we don't really do anything much for the holidays. We like to sneak away and get away from the craziness. Our sanity is more important. thanks. Love the recipe and the books.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana G

Hi Alexa! I've been following your story about avoiding gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, excess sugar/fruit, preservatives. My way of simplifying the holidays comes in the form of ordering a book and dvd for each of my 5 family members, and then being done shopping for the year!

*The best book I have bought so far is Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the secret changes in your food* by Andrew Kimbrall from the Center for Food Safety.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Louise

You're a genius! I LOVE this recipe. xo

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

I bought all my Christmas gifts back in August so I wasn't rushed!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Holmes

I think I'll make these for a party I'm going to!
We are keeping it more simple for the holidays this year by not traveling out of state.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

Shared on FB!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

(also shared on Twitter)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I've invited church families who don't have family gatherings Christmas Day to a Potluck after church...trying to give myself something to look forward too, since travelling isn't an option for us, and not all our children will be home this Christmas again.
So making those choco. pomegranates ! love the recipe...

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

these are absolutely beautiful! I wish I like pomegranates... however, my husband does.. so I think I'll be making these for him!

We simplify Christmas by staying home on Christmas Eve. Just my husband, daughter and I. Early in the day I make lots of maki rolls and sushi, and that's what we have for dinner along with watching A Christmas Story. It's relaxing and nice to just spend time together.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

I haven't figured out yet how to simplify the holidays, they are always crazy!!
\
Thanks for the recipe it looks great!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Our Christmas has to be simple as we have no income due to my hubbs stroke. Just gluten free cookies and candy to make for the three of us. Thanks for the recipe and chance to win! Dee

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I am building all of the furniture for my daughter's dollhouse this year so the baking has to be cut way back. I am doing quick things like Chex mix and peanut brittle and this recipe looks like it will fit right in with that theme!!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

We always have a little trouble keeping it simple during the holidays. Things are always simpler if we can keep dad out of the grocery store!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah M

Lexie,
These are lovely and I'll sure be giving them a try! Two of my favorites together... Yum!

xoxo,
Gigi ;)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGigi

We are simplifying this year by each getting only one gift that starts with the first letter of our last name, numbering it, then drawing numbers, trades are allowed. It will be a fun thing to do Christmas morning without the pressure to make this the day that everyone is supposed to get everything they've wanted all year. I tell my kids, "it's not YOUR birthday, it's Jesus'. When it's your birthday, I buy your presents, when it's His, we'll buy him presents (giving to the poor) Other than that making yummy food, and spending time with family make Christmas special to us!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Lewis

We are simplifying the holidays by trying to keep in mind what's really important, and not get caught up in trivial details. Letting the kids enjoy gifts. Being with family. Enjoying time off work!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily

shared on facebook

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Lewis

Thanks for the post and give-away. I love that there are only two ingredients in this recipe and it still looks super yummy! Yay for simplicity. This is the first Christmas that my husband and I are celebrating as a married couple so I have a feeling that it's not going to be simple! We're going to be traveling around to visit each of our families as much as possible during the holidays! Thanks again!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I shared this post on Facebook!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I shared this post on Twitter - http://twitter.com/livelocaliveraw

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

We don't have much extra money this year so we aren't doing many gifts and I'm very excited to simplify. I love pomegranates I definitely want to try this.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim c

I'm going to keep the Christmas dinner menu very simple this year.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana Coughlin

Shared on Facebook

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana Coughlin

I can't recall ever seeing a more beautiful holiday treat, these are GORGEOUS Lexie! And I'm with you this year, going back to simple for the holidays and taking it easy on the baking and my tendency to buy too many gifts - I think this has been one of my favorite holiday seasons so far, I'm actually getting to participate instead of doing all the grunt work (and stressing till the cows come home).

Love the photo of your family, thank you so much for sharing a special part of your past with us!

xoxo,
Heidi

Posted on Twitter

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana Coughlin

Those look delicious! I have a bunch of pomegranate seeds left in my freezer... somehow they haven't been devoured yet! I think this is what I'll be doing.

This year to simplify we'll be staying home instead of traveling. Miss out on some family time, but so much less stress! I'll also just be giving gifts to fewer folks this year, and while I make most of them myself - which can be overwhelming - it saves money in a big way.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

I am buying a Pomegranate today and trying the recepice tonight! I plan to simplify holidays this year by spending it alonw with just my husband. It's our first Christmas together.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

Shared on Twitter :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

Fackbook

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

Thank you for sharing this simple, but delightful recipe! This year, we are simplifying our Christmas season by getting gifts for just the nieces and nephews (instead of all the siblings too), shopped early for our own children's gifts and packages are going out in the mail tomorrow, shared baked goodies with the neighbors on St. Nicholas Day and the Christmas cards are nearly finished too ~ which means it's December 7th and we're nearly done with the "busy stuff" and we can rest and reflect in the coming days. So looking forward to it!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanie H

I posted this on facebook.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanie H

Beautiful photo of these fabulous treats, Lexie! We all love pomogranates in my family; I will definitely be making these!

We will not be traveling this year, which makes the holidays much simpler. Only a few small gifts, which have been purchased throughout the year, for our child. And I'll be planning my menus using many recipes from some of my favorite blogs! =)

Happy Holidays to you,
Lisa

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

My husband loves pomegranates, and I think he could even manage to make these! Having my husband home this year, and not deployed, always makes things simpler in our home. Plus just trying to keep myself organised really helps too!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle W.

Our Holidays are already pretty simple. We've never had much, but we make sure the family is together and that's what really matters.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Williams

Shared it on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598780205

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Williams

I need to work on simplifying the holidays. I feel like more things keep getting added in each year and I need to stream line the process a little and just enjoy! Thanks for the reminder!!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

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