Almond Cookies -Keto Friendly

SIMPLY SWEET
This almond cookie is an explosion of flavour,  yet shockingly simple to make. Gluten free. Keto – friendly and does not spike your blood glucose levels. This is my all time favourite  ‘cookie’.  You may be hooked like I was, with your very first bite.  The vanilla extract makes these gems extra good!

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Bernini says. “I’ll give you a hand ( a paw that is)”…

INGREDIENTS
2-3 Egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sweetener  ( Monk fruit )
3 cups of sliced blanched almonds
a pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix egg whites with a fork. Add sweetener, salt and vanilla.  Mix again.  Toss in almonds and mix. (check your egg white consistency here)
  3. Spoon and flatten cookie mixture  on a silicone sheet or parchment or on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 20 minute – to a media brown colour
  5. If bottom still soft and sticky  ..turn over bottom side up and put back in the oven
  6. Turn off oven ..let cookies sit 5-10 minutes to dry out.

VARIATIONS
Dip cookie in dark or light chocolate after baking. Flip chocolate side up. Let cool  (see below).

Chocolate Lovers

TIP!
Egg whites vary in size.  Make sure you have enough ‘egg white’ to have a thick consistency when blending – well coated ( sort of gooey). If it looks dry, you may have to add another egg white . Beat the ‘additional’ egg white separately before you add it to your cookie mix. Err on more egg white. Crumble the cookie on yogurt, hot, morning oatmeal, ice cream, salad or cooked green beans. There are more ideas as you  might guess. The ingredients are healthy and you can dress up any meal with healthy almonds.

DID YOU KNOW?
Almonds are not a true nut. It is a seed or pit similar to a peach or olives. My uncle, who reached his 100th birthday,  would enjoy six almonds daily for good health.  Did you know Bill Gates’  frequently snacks on  ‘nuts’.  I’m sure the almond squeaked its way in the mix.   Monk fruit is the trending sugar substitute,  some say no aftertaste. There are various Monk fruits to buy  with varying sweetness. Investigate them before using in a recipe. Monk fruit  toots a higher sweetness level than sugar. Tasting is believing. Swerve is another emerging substitute for sugar you may want to try.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that consuming almonds increases vitamin E levels    Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation and also lowers cholesterol levels. Almonds have a  significant  increase the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream. Blood flow is improved along with reduced blood pressure.

Healthy Broccoli Soup

Green is Gold! The zinger is the added sweet peas (Pisum) adding more phytonutrients!
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IMG_0911INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups frozen baby green peas
1 bunch broccoli about 1 pound, trimmed and chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add shallots and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cook until tender and fragrant. Add curry powder, salt and pepper and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
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2) Add broccoli and combine well. Cook for a few minutes and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat until medium. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
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Add the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes only so that the soup will maintain it’s bright green colour.

Frozen Peas Adds Green Colour

Frozen Peas Adds Green Colour

3) Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and add salt to taste if required.
Serve hot sprinkled with almonds and optionally sour cream. This can be served cold as well.

Healthy Broccoli Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Almonds

Healthy Broccoli Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Almonds

Broccoli contains cancer fighting glycosinolates which are transformed to disable toxins in the body.  The younger the broccoli, the more glucosinolates.

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Chocolate Craving? Energy Truffles

My Favorite Raspberry Truffles

TASTY TRUFFLES
My neighbour loves chocolate and loves sweets but she gets headaches for days afterwards. I started thinking about this and kept my mind and my eyes open for a solution. I did some testing with organic dates and almonds and came up with these treats.
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CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TRUFFLES
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp natural raspberry flavour*
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Directions
Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, natural raspberry flavour vanilla extract and salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will store longer in the freezer. My neighbour  tried them and did she get a headache?  You guessed it!  NO!
Added pizazz – Sprinkled edible gold leaf on your truffles. Or – add organic lime zest on top of the truffles -right before serving for that extra tang.
*Note:  Natural raspberry flavour is made by companies such as Boyajian and is available through http://www.goldaskitchen.com and other sources.

truffles33

Curb your Sugar Cravings
A few weeks later, I was chatting with my hairdresser about food. She was concerned about the sugar that her adult sons were ingesting and she asked me if I had any recipes for dates and nuts. She had tried to make some sweet treats on her own with limited success. She was chopping the ingredients with a knife. You really will not get that smooth consistency with a knife. A food processor is really ideal for this process. You can change the consistency by adding more lime juice or almond milk.
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CHOCOLATE MATCHA TRUFFLES
truffles_macha-tea
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1T organic matcha green tea powder
1 T unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Directions
Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, matcha powder, almond milk, vanilla extract and pinch salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with more matcha powder.
Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or longer in freezer.

didyouknow2FOOD FACTS: You do not become hypoglycemic with these treats. They do not elevate your blood sugar. Remember with sugary treats, you are full of energy or have the sugar rush. Inevitably, after the peak then comes the crash. These truffle treats have very healthy ingredients;  full of nutrition and will also give you a boost if you are working in the office or you are at the gym.  You can keep on going like the “Ever Ready Bunny” .
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LIME PISTACHIO TRUFFLES
truffles-pastachioRECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups pistachios
I cup pitted dates
4 organic limes, zest and juice of each.

Directions
Mix only 1 1/2 cups of the pistachios and all the dates in food processor until it comes to a ball.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pistachios for the coating. Process the pistachios and dates until it comes together in a ball (about 3 minutes). While this is mixing, zest the limes and then juice them. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios into tiny bits to be used for coating. Break up the pistachio-date ball and add zest and juice of all key limes. Process until well combined. Toss pistachio-date mixture into 18 balls and then roll in chopped pistachios. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month or longer in freezer.
HAT2FOOD TIP : You can change the consistency of these sweet treats by adding more lime juice or almond milk as needed. Also if you are using the zest of any citrus fruit, you must buy organic to avoid the pesticides. If you are just eating or juicing the lime,  you don’t need to pay extra for the organic.

Snowballs: Chocolate, Almond and Date Energy Bites Rolled in Coconut