Frozen blueberry chocolate nut clusters are a no-bake treat made with fresh blueberries, walnuts, almonds, cashews, chocolate, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds. Fun to make, nutritious, and a great treat for warm weather!
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month , and I’m excited to partner with the U.S Highbush Blueberry Council to create this perfect summer recipe. Plus, I’ll be sharing more information on blueberries and brain health.
I always have a carton of blueberries in my fridge or a bag in my freezer because they’re so versatile, nutritious, and not to mention, easy to reach for and snack on! Both fresh and frozen blueberries contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
What’s cool about these no bake blueberry nut clusters is that they satisfy your cravings for something sweet, salty, and crunchy all in one! Easy to make and the perfect thing to reach for when you’re trying to beat the summer heat.
One serving, or a cup of blueberries contributes essential nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and phytonutrients called polyphenols.
Good source of vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the immune system work properly and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Good source of dietary fiber: Blueberries contain 3.6 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber aids in digestion and makes you feel fuller faster. Most of us are not getting enough fiber, so adding more blueberries to you diet in fun ways is an easy way to boost your fiber intake, too.
Blueberries & Brain Health
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month and while it’s great to eat blueberries year-round for their health benefits, this month is the perfect time to emphasize adding them to your breakfast, snacks, and meals in a variety of different ways.
We continue to learn so much about the health benefits of blueberries, and a growing body of scientific evidence is currently examining how blueberries can be a part of eating patterns to support brain health, especially as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.1-4
I know, we as millennials, don’t often think about our brain health, but it is important to think about it not only in terms of setting a solid foundation for our own health, but the health of our older relatives, friends, and parents. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are common in adults 65 and older and the risk increases with age. Sharing a blueberry treat with those older and wiser than us or simply encouraging them to add blueberries to their grocery list is a no brainer, and something I plan to do with my parents!
This treat packs double the goodness with the help of blueberries and walnuts.
Ingredients for Frozen Blueberry Chocolate Nut Clusters
- Fresh blueberries – both fresh and frozen blueberries contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Walnuts – research suggests that walnut consumption may be associated with cognitive function. And, substantial research supports the inclusion of walnuts in healthy eating patterns that support cardiovascular health. In fact, supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Dark chocolate / milk chocolate / white chocolate chips – choose dairy-free chocolate to keep this recipe dairy free, if desired.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- Pumpkin seeds – pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, fiber and plant-based protein.
- Sea salt
How to Make Blueberry Nut Freezer Clusters
Making no-bake blueberry nut clusters is super easy. Simply combine fresh blueberries with your nuts of choice in a bowl and gently mix together until combined. I suggest walnuts, almonds and cashews but you can use whichever you have on hand.
Line a plate that will fit into your freezer with parchment paper and scoop a cluster of a few blueberries and a couple of nuts on to the parchment paper. Smoosh it together so that everything is touching or slightly on top of each other.
Melt the chocolate of your choice in a microwave safe bowl. I recommend melting in increments of 20 seconds, mixing after each time. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate on top of the blueberry nut cluster making sure to cover each berry and nut so that everything sticks together.
While the chocolate is still melted on top of the cluster, sprinkle shredded coconut flakes and add a couple of pumpkin seeds, along with a pinch of salt. Place clusters in the freezer for at least two hours or overnight to harden
When you’re ready to enjoy, simply pull a cluster out of the freezer and eat! Store clusters in a covered container or bag in the freezer for up to three months.
Easy Ways to Add a Boost of Blue to your Day
- Add blueberries to your breakfast: Think smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes or on top of toast.
- Snack on a handful of blueberries: Make your own trail mix with dried blueberries, nuts and chocolate chips
- Bake with blueberries: Whip up a batch of pumpkin blueberry muffins to share with a friend.
Blueberry Chocolate Frozen Nut Clusters
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup dark milk or white chocolate chips
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds pepitas
- pinch of salt
- Line a plate (or something that fits into your freezer) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine blueberries, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Gently mix together to combine and scoop out about a 2 tbsp. sized cluster of berries and nuts on the parchment paper. Make sure each blueberry and nut is touching the other so that the cluster stays together once frozen.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate. Heat in increments of 20 seconds and stir between each time period until melted.
- Use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the entire cluster and sprinkle with shredded coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and a pinch of salt.
- Repeat with remaining blueberries and nuts. Freeze for at least two hours.
- Store covered in the freezer for up to three months.
More blueberry recipes you’re sure to love!
- Blueberry lemon energy bites
- Mini no bake blueberry cheesecakes
- Blueberry sweet potato greens and grains bowl
- Blueberry brioche French toast
- Blueberry shortbread bars
1Travica N, D’Cunha NM, Naumovski N, Kent K, Mellor DD, Firth J, Georgousopoulou EN, Dean OM, Loughman A, Jacka F, Marx W. The effect of blueberry interventions on cognitive performance and mood: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Brain Behav Immun. 2020; 85:96-105.
2Bowtell JL, Aboo-Bakkar Z, Conway ME, Adlam AR, Fulford J. Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017; 42(7):773-779.
3Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, Kalt W, Vinqvist-Tymchuk MR, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010, 58:3996-4000.
4Wilhelmina Kalt, Aedin Cassidy, Luke R Howard, Robert Krikorian, April J Stull, Francois Tremblay, Raul Zamora-Ros, Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 224–236
5Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S.
6U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2004, March 9). Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion – Walnuts and Coronary Heart Disease (Docket No 02P-0292). http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171114183725/https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm072910.htm
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