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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)

How are is this recipe! i just bought pomegranates yesterday for a smoothie. I have never used them before. I have everything to make this and can't wait to try it! Thank so much!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Heavener

I just shared this on Facebook! My previous post was meant to say How awesome is this recipe!!! Thanks again :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Heavener

I'm simplifying by spending less money but buying more meaningful things. (The clusters look so festive and delicious!) *If I'm lucky enough to win - I already own both of Elana's books

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherriS.

I am not putting up a tree this year, since we are going to visit family. I also am buying the kids less.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Heavener

These clusters are so pretty! I've never tried pomegranates before (the whole process of trying to get the seeds out seems so complicated) but your recipe may just force me to buy one to try!

Simplifying the holidays really is something we all should do. We have decided to not travel this year either (sounds like there are a number of people doing that). As hard of a decision that is, it really is making for a less stressful holiday season. Plus, it gives me more time to experiment in the kitchen!!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I stumbled the post.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne H

shared on facebook..

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Making these wonderful treats will definitely keep my holiday simple! Also, with my husband's family we do a gift exchange where we are matched with one other person in the family and buy them a gift with a value of $30 or less...how simple is that!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah L

I love pomegranates! Thanks for this post! They're so cute!

This year we are simplifying the holidays by making easy make-ahead meals and enjoying family time more.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne

These are adorable and look so festive! I always wondered what to do with a fresh pomegranate and now I know! I love the taste of juice and the healthy benefits but have always been perplexed by what to make with it.
I haven't figured out a way to simplify the holidays any more than I have in past years but I will be reading everyone's ideas and hopefully implementing a few;) Thanks for the great recipe!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

We have been reducing the number of gifts we are buying. Do an exhange within the family, no longer buy for adult siblings. We are having Christmas over 3 days, one day for our family and a meal for each side of the family. Much more time to spend visiting, less rush and hustle. I am taking time to enjoy the season this year.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeva

Hi
Those candies look perfect for the season. I am keeping things simple by doing more online shopping instead of going store to store . And we don't buy for "everyone".

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKellyB

Okay. These are unbelievable. And they will be made in my house by this afternoon. I have had a pomegranate left in my fridge for a couple of weeks because my kids got tired of eating them in salads. LOL So NOW I know exactly what to do with it! This is a gorgeous post and a beautiful picture of your family and, of course, a gorgeous picture of those clusters!
xo

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim(Cook It Allergy Free)

Oh my! Pomegranate AND chocolate. At once. Only. Brilliant!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArleen

Shop on-line.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaryK

I hadn't planned on simplifying the holidays this year. However, my health is forcing it upon me. I am searching my favorite blogs for quick and easy things such as these candies to make. With awesomeness like this nobody will realize that I simplified! Thanks Lexi!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

These clusters look so festive ! I will simplify this year by finishing my shopping earlier, wrapping earlier, cleaning earlier and planning meals ahead.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I'm new to this blogging culture. The last blog I followed religiously was when my son was studying abroad for a semester. But your network of gluten-free bloggers has opened up a whole new world! I don't know which recipe to try first. And a REALLY BIG THANKS for the illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to get those seeds, I mean Anils, out of pomegranates without painting myself and my kitchen red!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Trammel

We are simplifying the holidays this year by taking a family trip to disneyland instead of traveling around to hit all the extended families houses! We're looking forward to a fun and less stressful day.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I don't think that we are simplifying this year. We are going on a trip for Christmas, to see relatives. I am rather excited. Christmas with just my husband and I on Christmas day is... as simple as it can get. Hopefully later we will have kids to make us want to keep it to its utmost simple. Until then, let it be crazy!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah C

Liked and shared on FB. These look so good and I love pomegranate.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen S.

I love this simple idea - last year I went crazy making all sorts of things for our family's first gluten-free Xmas. This year I have moved to Japan, so Christmas will be super simple and rudimentarily gf. But these are the perfect dessert! thanks for posting

http://eatrecyclerepeat,wordpress.com/

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

This is my baby's second Christmas! YAAAAAAAY! I'm also back in school, on my way to being a high school Biology teacher. With this busy schedule, I'm back to letting my mom do most of it! The day of, we trade off baby duty and chef duties. It'll be wonderful!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecka

I'm simplifying my holidays by not buying any gifts. I've requested to everyone else that they buy no gifts either. I want to focus on the family/gathering aspect of Christmas...and, of course, it saves money. As you will have guessed, there's no kids in my immediate family. :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFiona

It's on my Facebook.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFiona

Adorable! And YUM! Making those today :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

I plan to simplify the holidays by not running around all over the place. I want to make a simple meal and just have the family chill and maybe play some games or watch movies.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I plan to simplify the holidays by taking some extra time off and take it easy with the family and maybe finally strike some things off the ever growing todo list.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNiv

Hi, our holidays are always pretty simple sine we make the same traditional dishes. We keep it low key and stick to the Polish traditions!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

I "liked" this post on stumbleupon!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Love this! So simple and fresh. We'll definitely make these this Christmas season!

We are "simplifying" by easing up on our homeschooling schedule this month and focusing on Christmas. With so many other things to do...decorating, cooking, meetings, social events, parties galore, etc...there's barely room for anything else. But we usually plan to take most of December off of school, so it won't wreck our school calendar at all.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I also shared on facebook.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

We will simplify with less presents, more family time and simple wholesome foods. The choc pomegrante seeds sound delish!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

We thought about getting a prelighted artificial tree this year, as one thing I dislike is putting lights on and taking them off. But it seems we just can't bring ourselves to do it!

These little treats look beautiful!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula B

I 'liked' you on FB

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

Now following on twitter

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

Great idea!

To simplify the holidays, we are staying home.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

Im hoping to simplify this year by not traveling and taking more time at home with my family.

Sandy C

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSAndy Crawford

Thanks for doing this!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChelle

This is so simple but I never thought of it. Thank you so much! I am sharing this with a good friend. We used to have pomegranate together in college all the time around the holidays. What a great way to jazz up a memory.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllyssa B

Just gifts for the kids this year. My kids love pomegranates. I can imagine their faces when they see them covered in chocolate! Thanks for the recipe.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I am simplifying by cutting back on how much cooking I am doing. It has made it so much simpler!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Fluegel

This year we are not exchanging gifts. We are having a cozy dinner, just my husband, his parents and me. We have yet to decide what to have for dinner but I'm thinking there are several recipes here to choose from!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan W.

This year my family is going away for Christmas. The trip is our gift! So we're not doing presents. Christmas will be simplified and brought "back to its true meaning" by simply enjoying our time together.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Shared on FB!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

These look so amazing. I love how the little pomegranate gems stand out against the dark chocolate!

As for simplifying the holidays...well, mine are never very complicated. But, I will probably do my usual baking to balance work, and teach/practice some yoga to let go of any stress.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

And posted on Twitter. :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Shared this on facebook, too.

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I am trying to cook in advance and freeze some meals since I am having some overseas guests. Thanks for the giveaway!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura H

We are simplifying by staying home and letting the company come to us! I am trying to work on the cleaning a little at a time because that tends to be the worst part to me.

I have a question about the recipe, milk chocolate or semisweet chips? I am sure either would work, but which do people prefer? I am going to buy a pomegranate tomorrow!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertina

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