Thursday, September 27, 2018

Coconut Vanilla Clusters #recipe, Linda Wiken, author

I've just come across this very tasty, very easy, very fast recipe for snack time, that a friend shared after we all drooled over her version. She called them Maple Vanilla Clusters but, in order to keep the sugar content down, I chose Coconut Syrup.

I didn't even know this existed until I had a chat with my very helpful and friendly neighborhood health store person. I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant but once I'd tried it, I'm making the switch, even for breakfast. Sorry Maple Syrup, which I truly love and have access to from good friends who make it.

Since, as you know, we always tinker with recipes, I switched out the pumpkin seeds with shells still on (please note this in case you want to try it), for organic raw seed. My cashews and sunflower seeds were also organic raw. Plus, I added some dried cranberries, for color, and maybe to add a bit of the sweetness I'd eliminated with the change in syrup.

And then, as they're cooling, it calls for sea salt to be sprinkled overtop. I pulled out my trusty Himalayan salt -- can anyone explain to me why I like it so much? I only used a minute amount as I'm sticking to a low salt diet. Well, trying anyway.

I surprised my book club with the clusters last night and they loved them. So, here's the recipe and you can try them, too.

Here's what you'll need: (substitute to your heart's desire!)

1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. cashews
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. coconut syrup

Here's what to do:

Preheat oven to 300 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mix the seeds, nuts and cranberries while in a smaller bowl, combine the vanilla and syrup.

Pour this mixture over the nuts and stir to coat everything. Then, scoop clusters of the mixture and dollop them onto the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, checking during the final 5 minutes to make sure the seeds don't burn. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

When the clusters have cooled enough to touch, press the clusters together so that they don't fall apart. Continue cooling process ... or dig right in, if you can't resist. They're delicious either way!

So, here's your obviously healthy and gluten-free snack. Enjoy!


It's now here --
Marinating in Murder, book #3
Recipes included!

Here's a taste of the reviews:     

Wiken’s third entry to the Dinner Club series is a clever twist on the classic whodunit… The book will have you guessing until the very end…. All in all, an intriguing read by Wiken.” – RT Reviews

"Foodies will love this book and this series. Great recipes are included as well....A fun romp of intrigue filled with foodie fun." -- Open Book Society

ROUX THE DAY,  the second  Dinner Club Mystery is available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.


  1. Thank you for the recipe for a gluten-free snack. Using coconut syrup will be a new experience for me but I enjoy trying new ingredients.

  2. I believe I have all the ingredients. How large are the scoops? They look like a great healthy snack.

  3. These sound well worth trying.
    I think I'll stick with the maple syrup.

  4. Thanks for sharing this yummy looking recipe!
    I can't wait to try it.It would make a nice healthy gift for some one,given in cute tin. This seems like a good recipe to tinker with,endless possibilities.