Dark Chocolate Seedy Nut Clusters

May 31, 2017

Dark Chocolate Seedy Nut Clusters by Faring Well from #VegetarianHeartland

On our recent trip to Austin I had two stasher bags with snacks in my backpack. One filled with the protein version of my tigernut cookies, and the other filled with these dark chocolate clusters. Obviously my snacking priorities lie with chocolate. It can be a tough-y to find wholesome snacks when out and about, and I’m so grateful for packable recipes like these to have as “travel buddies”. One of my favorite nights we had in Austin was the night we stayed in, we cuddled up under the same blanket on the couch, put on a hockey game, and busted out the bag of these seedy nut clusters. Can you say “homebodies” *wink wink*. There is just something special about doing exactly what you love doing at home in a comfy house that isn’t your own, and in a city you don’t know. You’re free from all of life’s distractions and responsibilities and can just hang.

I have the amazing Shelly from Vegetarian Ventures to thank for this recipe creation. These clusters hail from her new cookbook, Vegetarian Heartland, which is available for pre-order now (woot woot!). Shelly has a way with intertwining food and life, and her cookbook is a perfect portrayal of this. In a little note with her cookbook, Shelly mentioned to me that she thought I would particularly like the Camping section. I stopped dead in my tracks when I flipped to the page that said “dark chocolate seedy nut clusters”, and wouldn’t you know – its the first recipe in the Camping chapter. Does this gal know me or what? Of course when it called for a bar of dark chocolate, I decided to make my own, but I have both measurements for you below to choose from – either is a stellar decision, just as long as you enjoy these ASAP.

If you’ve followed Shelly, you know she is basically the midwest vegetarian queen, and this book is an extension of her true talents in this arena. Organized by experience, you have sections like Picnic, Fruit Picking, Playing in the Snow, and another fave – Road Trip. Although this cookbook is more-so suited for vegetarians, it has inspiration for entirely plant based folks too. Other recipes such as her trail mix cookies, wild rice sliders, and smoky maple baked beans fall into the latter category – and of course these clusters. Intertwined with beautiful lifestyle photography, as well as photos of the food, this book will make you want to gather everyone you know in the kitchen and head out for a little afternoon adventure. I love the video she made for her cookbook too, which you can watch here.

Many of you who watched my stories on Instagram the other day know that I am embarking on a thirty day low-lectin diet to see what effects it has on my digestive issues. It may work, it may not, but I have nothing to loose! After hearing both positive and not-so-positive feedback from a few of you, I wanted to take a moment to say I’m not here to say what you should do, I’m only here to share a little of what I’m trying for my own reasons. So please take everything I say with a grain of salt and a dose of perspective. After two and a half years of digestive issues, four doctors, and over a dozen semi-helpful/mostly unhelpful tests – I’m willing to give anything a go for thirty days to see what happens. You have to listen to your body and your needs, always. If you’d like, you can read more about the man behind the movement at the moment, Dr. Gundry, here – and listen to a great interview with him over on Jessica’s podcast from last week as well (I’m reading his book, Plant Paradox, for my info). These cluster’s are lower-lectin, but not completely low-lectin. I couldn’t pry myself away from my precious sprouted pepitas just yet when I was shooting these, but have notes below on substitutions I’ve made since. Use whatever the heck you love and makes you feel amazing, okay? – xx

Pssst. I updated my pantry page, removing a few items I’m using less and adding a few newbies I’ve been loving, which include: spirulina, hemp protein, Moon Juice protein blends, and mesquite powder

Dark Chocolate Seedy Nut Clusters by Faring Well from #VegetarianHeartlandDark Chocolate Seedy Nut Clusters by Faring Well from #VegetarianHeartland


Makes 25 small, or 10 big clusters.

10 ounces of dark chocolate (see note)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup sprouted pepitas
1/8 teaspoon fine pink salt

In a double boiler set over simmering water, melt the chocolate (or make my homemade chocolate in the notes below). Remove from the heat. Add the apricots, macadamia nuts, hemp hearts, pepitas, and salt and fold together until everything is evenly coated in chocolate.

Scoop the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time (I made mine larger), onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened (about 30 minutes), or have them “quick set” in the freezer for half the time. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to one week. (In my experience, these travel well without refrigeration.)

Very slightly adapted from Vegetarian Heartland, reprinted with permission from the publisher. 

NOTES: I made mine using my homemade chocolate method, if you’d like to too here it is: melt 1 cup of raw cacao butter in the double boiler; remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of coconut sugar plus 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean; whisk well and add 1 cup raw cacao powder. Proceed with adding the mix-ins, and set as instructed above. For a low-lectin version, replace the pepitas with additional chopped macadamias (or chopped walnuts/almonds/pecans).

I love seeing what you create! Be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #FWmakers.

This post contains affiliate links (they are underlined for clarity). Purchases you make through these links will help fund the work I do here on Faring Well at no extra cost to you. Thank you sincerely for your constant love and support!

Dark Chocolate Seedy Nut Clusters by Faring Well from #VegetarianHeartland


  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine May 31, 2017 at 11:51 am

    You and me both- chocolate snacks are always top priority on a trip. :) You made these little clusters look completely temping and scrumptious. (double thumbs up emoji right here!) I had to google what lectin was- I learn so much from you. Lifting up prayers for your healing as well as strength to persevere through these various changes in your diet. You are amazing.

    • Reply Faring Well May 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      You are the amazing one, Emily, thank you! And mega fist pumps for prioritizing our chocolate snacks ;). I genuinely appreciate you’re well wishes on healing, and hope the same for you sweet friend after hearing about your concussion! Lots of love and healing hugs. xo

  • Reply Abby May 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I was planning a grocery store run today and I’m so glad I saw this recipe beforehand! Definitely making these tonight!

    • Reply Faring Well May 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Aw yay! I hope you love them too Abby!

  • Reply Rebeca May 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I read the email this morning and made them right away! Guess that shows how I feel about chocolate snacks, huh? I tried one as soon as they had chilled so I can confirm they’re delicious! I drove to the airport to pick up my guy and handed him a small jar with these and they disappeared quickly.
    I also had to google what lectin was, I learnt something new today. I hope it can be a step in the right direction for you, anything that helps you in your healing journey. And you’re right, you have nothing to lose! I’ll be cheering on you. xx

    • Reply Faring Well June 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Ah this made me smile so huge, Rebeca! I’m so glad these were calling your name too ;) and that your guy loved them as well! YAY. And thank you tons for the well wishes on my health journey, you are so sweet and I appreciate the cheers! xo

  • Reply Casey the College Celiac May 31, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Girl, you are speaking my food language. Seeds + dried fruit + CHOCOLATE?!? How could anyone NOT love this?!?!

  • Reply Life as Luc June 1, 2017 at 5:16 am

    These sound divine! What’s not to love about chocolate, apricots & nuts. YUM!
    Love your recipes & overall aproach to life :)
    Is there anything that could be used as a substitute for hemp hearts?
    I’m an Aussie & can’t say I’ve seen hemp hearts around in the shops here.

    • Reply Faring Well June 2, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      You are so kind thank you Lucy! And as for the hemp hearts/hemp seeds, you could absolutely replace them with any chopped nut or seed that you’d like :).

      • Reply Lucy June 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm

        Thank you so much for your response! I’ve got plenty I can substitute them with then, yay. Time to get baking :)

        • Reply Faring Well June 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm

          Of course! I hope you enjoy them tons!

  • Reply Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures June 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Eeee! Thank you so much for the VH love and for spreading the word. Your photos are so swoon-worthy and I KNEW you’d love that camping chapter! Man, I just listened to Jessica’s episode on lectins the other day and it’s sooo interesting – very interested to hear how it goes for you. <3

    • Reply Faring Well June 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Oh my goodness of course! Thank you for your beautiful work Shelly! I adore you, and that chapter is so one of my faves :). Wasn’t that podcast like WOAH?! Excited to see how it goes too! <3

  • Reply Adrienne June 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I definitely need to make these soon. They look and sound amazing.

    • Reply Faring Well June 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Thank you Adrienne! I hope you get to too!

  • Reply Laura June 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Looks really good, i have to test this at the weekend!
    Thank you!

    • Reply Faring Well June 23, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Yay! Thank you Laura. I hope you enjoy these as a weekend treat, we just finished off another batch last night ;).

  • Reply Nicole June 23, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Yumm…Chocolate, Fruits and nuts. Always an awesome combination. They look delicious.

    • Reply Faring Well June 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Thank you tons Nicole! And agreed! <3

    Leave a Reply