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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)

This year, I am really not into the tree/santa/anything commercial. I'm learning about Hanukkah and trying to incorporate that into this season. I just started a new job as well, so trying to stay afloat while suddenly working all day -- you know how that is :) But I still find time to check out this holiday recipe club and enter the contests!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrystal in Canada

Shared this awesome recipe and giveaways on Facebook.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGail

I am simplifing by not making a ton of cookies, every year I did this to almost the point of exhaustion. This year just making a few favorites, since going gluten, dairy, and egg free. Love the pomegrant clusters.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJodi Castallo

Another great recipe!! Thanks for sharing with us!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I am simplifying the holidays by not decorating at all at my house and just enjoying the decorations around the nieghborhood and in town.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbitt

We have a hard time simplifying the holidays. We have so many different traditions with the different families that we always try to do it all. But, we make sure to have time Christmas morning just for us relaxing and enjoying each other's company. And we always enjoy seeing all our family!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Thanks for the delicious idea.
We will be staying close to home for Christmas this year.
I won't be having the crowd at my house either.
Thanks for included my name for the drawing.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Shared on fb!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

We're simplifying the holidays this year by spending less on and being more thoughtful with our gifts.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Shared on facebook.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Baking way less cookies this year! I usually do about 2500 to give away, this year maybe 2 or 3 hundred instead! This looks yummy!

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

We try to live and do simple.. a couple years ago our grown daughters decided it would be fun to change things up a bit for Christmas. Instead of buying gifts, why not either repurpose or make our gifts. Really gets the creative juices flowing!
Last year everyone got so creative, from painted pictures to canned goodies from each of our gardens... this year I am making homemade vanilla, aprons, fabric grocery bags, etc. We recently had a small barn blow over from a storm, so each will receive a barnwood mirror. We have found getting ready for our Christmas' now to be stressfree. It brings many memories back to my husband and I, of our childhoods when we'd receive a homemade sling shot or mittens gramma knitted.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdee

Thanks for such an original idea. I never would have put pomegranates and chocolate together like this, and they are so pretty and festive looking.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoella C.

These treats are gorgeous. My family and I love pomegranates... and have one sitting in the fridge. I just hope it's still there when I return from a business trip tomorrow!

We travel outside AK each Christmas to visit family in the lower 48. Holiday travel is not simple. But we make the best of it by flying Christmas day when everyone is less stressed and in a jolly mood! The kids put on crazy red and green outfits and we have fun. Once we arrive, we spend our holiday visiting with loved ones and in complete relaxation mode.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie@BiPolarPaleo

These look fabulous. I have several pomegrante's in my refrigerator, I try to eat them often for all the great nutrional value. (I was struck by lightning a few years ago, my immune system got zapped!) To combine chocolate with pomegrante will definitely make my mouth explode in awesomeness! Thank you, thank you. :)

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdee

I'm simplifying by shopping more online when there are sales & free shipping, avoiding the long lines at stores & traffic. :-)

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVenessa

Well, I don't think that I am simplifying anything by doing this, but I decided to make the majority of our gifts this year including a couple biggies for my kids. Saving money? check. Less consumerism? check. Simple? nope :)

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarykay

I FaceBooked the giveaway too :)

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarykay

We are simplifying Christmas this by simply remembering just what Christmas is about. Not being caught up in presents and activities and food. Being simple all around.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelly R

I shared on FB!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelly R

I tweeted!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelly R

We have four kids and I long to make this Christmas more about what is really is about. Less Christmas clutter and more Christ. The kids are enjoying it.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiliane allen

This is my kind of recipe! New, beautiful, two ingredients, and safe for my family!!! And I bet they taste great too. Can't wait to add this to our Christmas treats this year. Thank you! We are simplifying our Christmas by not doing gifts for each other in our family this year, but helping as many as we can who are in need of help. A GREAT way to spend Christmas!!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Moschel

I shared on FB!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Very interesting! Never knew what to do with pomegranates. Will have to make this.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Crooker

I always keep holidays as simple as possible. One good way to do this is to bake ahead of time and freeze your goodies. then you can concentrate on cooking dinner for your family when the holiday comes around.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanis

I shared this on facebook.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanis

Posted to Facebook

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie@BiPolarPaleo

Posted to Twitter

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie@BiPolarPaleo

I'm cutting back on the sweets and treats this year. Less baking, less eating, less treadmill!!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersusan ohneiser

We're "simplifying" our holiday decorating this year! Instead of digging through a decade worth of ornaments, we're letting everything stay boxed up. The tree will be hung in Air Force blue, in honor of Kvothe's first Christmas away from home.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

I'll be simplifying this year's holidays by not stressing about gifts! They will be either homemade or simple gifts.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessy

we are moving over Christmas....no tree, no decorations.....just packing. too much fun!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhelga

We will be buying fewer gifts and baking fewer treats.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Love your website. I shared it on facebook.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatti Krueger

I am simplifying by focusing on people rather than things this Christmas.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCristin

Anyone wanting to simplify should read the book Unplugging the Christmas Machine. I'm not trying to add something else to our list right now, maybe read it next October. It's a great motivator to go back to the basics. We have simplified by having all the cousins swap names (we have 11 on one side and 8 on the other side!), skipping adult sibling presents, and by making a computerized list of all of my card recipients (about 150). This way I can just print out all of the addresses each year. I've also decided to just put out our very favorite decorations. I'm guessing this will make the after-Christmas chore of putting it all back up much more enjoyable!
Merry Christmas to all!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterReagan

We still need to decide how to simplify this year's Christmas. We may end up hosting Christmas brunch, so we only have 1 place to travel later Christmas Day. I'm planning on wowing the doubtful fam with allergen-free delights. :) We are blessed to have both families in town!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

I'm trying to bake less cookies this year and then get stuck with less by giving them away.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I just tweeted this!

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

We simplify by focusing on the light of the season: how can we bring more light into the world as a result of our actions? Helps keep the focus on giving and being grateful for what we receive.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

we are simplifying the holidays by staying home, spending time with our family and enjoying the many blessing our Lord has given us

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertanya

I wish I wasn't simplifying the holidays this year, but some health issues have forced me to. I'll be eating a strict meat and vegetable diet through the end of the year, so there will be no extravagant baking for me this year :( I will certainly miss it.

December 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

well no long travel this year (last few years it was 1500 miles both ways...) and we're cutting out a lot of the running around! this year were DIY-ing most of our gifts too..kiddos are loving it!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrobyn m.

tweeted!
https://twitter.com/#!/rbynmyrs

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrobyn m.

These are so easy. A perfect simple hostess gift when I'm going to all of my holiday parties. Thank you!!!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

I always wondered if there was another way to get the seeds out of pomegranates. My kids love them too. But we section them and the pick them out - very tedious! I'm going to try soaking them like you showed.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Having all the family together for Christmas to celebrate Christ's birth is the best Christmas of all.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat J

WOW! those look REALLY REALLY good!!! I love pomegranate....and chocolate.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkirsten

This will be our first gluten-free, dairy-free Christmas, but after our Thanksgiving I want to simplify by creating a menu that keeps us from cooking all day long! Either make more stuff the day before or just recipes that don't require standing over the stove all day. :) Thank you for sharing your recipe!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah M

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