By Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS

Still finalizing your Christmas menu? If you’re looking for something delicious but worried about keeping it healthy, look no further.  Improving personal wellness doesn’t have to be bland and boring.  Enjoying a bit of dark chocolate with your holiday meal, especially if you add a little fruit, might just be “what the doctor ordered.”  Research has described the health benefits of dark chocolate, particularly its antioxidant qualities.  What a fun addition to your personal wellness plan!

One doctor who recognizes the medicinal value of food is ChefMD®  Dr. John LaPuma. He  offers tasty and healthy recipes on his website www.ChefMD.comHe also includes nutritional information and tips for using food as medicine. His “What do I Eat for That” section is another great wellness resource. You can search for recipes that might help address certain health conditions.

Try this holiday treat to satisfy your taste buds while giving your body health boosting antioxidants.  For chocolate lovers, savoring this dessert might also provide an extra bit of joy. What a great wellness resource-food that benefits  the mind and body!  See how easy practicing self-care can be? Who said achieving optimal health had to be unpleasant?

Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Clusters

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 108 per serving
Cuisine: Vegetarian, American
Course: Dessert
Diet: Vegetarian
Food as MedicineSM Ingredient: Dark Chocolate


1 large or 2 medium pomegranates, enough to yield scant
1 cup (8 ounces) pomegranate arils
2/3 cup (4 ounces) organic bittersweet chocolate chips, such as Ghiradelli 60%
¼ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
¼ cup fresh spearmint or peppermint, stemmed and julienned


Score the pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break it open under water to let the arils sink to the bottom and the membrane float to the top. Pour through a colendar, rinse, and set the pomegranate arils on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Melt chocolate chips in a heavy-bottomed small saucepan over low-to-medium heat stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes.** Remove saucepan from the burner. Add pomegranate seeds and stir in curry powder, if desired. Use a fork to scoop out small chocolate-covered clusters, and place each on a wax paper lined plate. Garnish with mint. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.


* 2/3 cup (4 ounces) high quality dark chocolate, chopped fine, may replace the chocolate chips.


**Or, place the chocolate in a Pyrex measuring cup or small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high power 1 minute. Stir; continue microwaving 1 minute or until chocolate is completely melted when stirred.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g): 6.2 – Cholesterol (mg): 0.0 – Trans fatty acids (g): 0.0 – Saturated fat (g): 3.5 – Polyunsaturated fat (g): 0.0 – Monounsaturated fat (g): 0.0 – Fiber (g): 1.5 – Carbohydrates (g): 15.1 – Sugar (g): 12.4 – Protein (g): 1.5 – Sodium (mg): 1.9 – Calcium 4.2% daily value.

Copyright© 2010, ChefMD®, LLC. All rights reserved.

Recipe reprinted with permission of John LaPuma, MD

Article Copyright  ©2010, Donna L. Hamilton, MD


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Donna Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP

Chief Wellness Officer at Manifest Excellence
Bestselling author, dynamic holistic wellness speaker and wellness luminary Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD, has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives we’re all meant to lead. Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey.

A wellness thought leader, she champions a comprehensive approach to health by addressing mental, emotional, social, spiritual & physical well-being with a simple and potent message. Her book Wellness Your Way offers a practical strategy to assist readers in creating a happier, healthier life. For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements visit or
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