Monday, June 25, 2012

Grain-Free Goodness: Cacao Roasted Almonds

Nuts! They are an essential part of the grain-free lifestyle. Nut flours, nuts for snacking, nuts as a substitute for oats in granola--so many helpful uses for nuts! Today I bring you a delightful treat. Behold, the ridged and crunchy treat known as the almond:

 Like the grains of a tree or lines in a fingerprint, no two almonds are the same. It's hard not to be tantalized by the sweet, nutty flavor of marzipan or the richness of an orgeat steamer. Yet regardless of the name or method of delivery, the complex flavors of the almond are worth our admiration.

The inspiration for these sinfully tasty almonds came from Joy Wilson's cookbook. I've sneaked them into the movies in order to avoid overpriced, sugary treats and I've doused them in almond milk as a granola alternative. Chocolatey, crunchy, and hard to resist, they won't last a week in my house.

Cacao Roasted Almonds
makes about 4 cups
adapted from Joy the Baker

3 C. raw almonds
6 TBS. unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. honehy
1/4 C. cacao nibs, ground fine
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roast almonds on a baking sheet for 15 minutes in oven. Remove to a separate bowl and allow to cool.

Place butter in baking sheet and melt in oven.

In bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and 1/2 tsp of salt, on medium speed, until frothy. Gradually add in honey. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until white, glossy, and whites hold almost stiff peaks.

With rubber spatula, fold into egg whites remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, cacao nib powder, and cayenne pepper.

Pour egg mixture over toasted almonds and toss well. Spoon mixture over melted butter in pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir every 8-10 minutes.

Allow almonds to cool completely. Can keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

**One morning for breakfast, I had the awesome thought of these treats as granola. Simply take desired amount of nuts and pulse in food processor until they resemble the size of oats. Pour in your favorite dairy or non-dairy beverage and enjoy chocolate almond granola! Add pitted cherries or sliced strawberries for a real treat.


TDM Wendy said...

Oh those look delicious.

Becky said...

ridiculously delicious.