Cherry-Orange-Almond Turtles


To those of you who have had enough already of all the candy and sweets this time of year brings: this post is not for you. To those of you who are still here: I'm glad that I'm not the only one.



I can never seem to lose my sweet tooth, no matter how many baked or frozen sugary desserts I eat. And every year around this time I notice it catching up to me. Or um, er... to my thighs.



Which is very unfortunate since I have a freezer full of chocolate that I received in various stockings from my husband, my in-laws, my parents...


So I have decided to take it out, bar by bar, and try to create semi-healthier concoctions from all that delicious sugar and cocoa. The first idea on my list: turtles. (Why are they called that? So unappealing.)
 

I melted down a dark chocolate bar (85% cocoa) and added dried cherries (cocoa and cherries- just think of all those antioxidants! It's practically a health food) and almonds for protein to keep your metabolism going just a little longer after dessert. The resulting bar has about 225 kcals and 7 grams of protein each (not bad, eh?). It is just sweet enough to keep my baked-good cravings at bay... for perhaps a week, when all the turtles will have gone extinct. Then, all bets are off.

Cherry-Orange-Almond Turtles
makes 6
3.5 oz dark chocolate (the darker the better), broken into small pieces
zest of 1 orange
3 oz almonds; about 1/2 cup
3 oz dried cherries; about 1/2 cup

Melt the chocolate in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add zest and mix well. Add almonds and cherries and stir until combined. Pour mixture out into six even piles on wax paper and allow to cool and harden completely before eating. Enjoy.

Question: Does anyone have any foods they can't live without but need lightened up? After all, it is almost the new year... ugh, I can't believe I just said that...

Jane  – (December 30, 2011 at 3:54 PM)  

I'm right there with you Ashley :) Those sound delicious! I can't stop eating these no-bake cookies that consist of melted butter, peanut butter, choc chips, and oatmeal (we call them Katy Kangaroo cookies). How can I lighten that one up and call it a healthful snack!!??

Ashley  – (January 5, 2012 at 3:34 PM)  

Sorry I never responded- Just got home from visiting in-laws... I totally know the addictive snack you are talking about... more to come on that one!

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