Sunday, August 26, 2012

Choco Cayenne Almonds

Almonds are so good for you and yet so versatile in the kitchen.The almond season peaks mid summer time (right now)! But they are available year around, which makes this recipe super easy to fall in love with, because you can make it year around! Besides their convenience of being a year around food item, Almonds can help reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly referred to as "bad cholesterol". This in turn can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Now for all those health benefits, it's no surprise almonds have been appearing all over these days. 

 How many places have you seen almonds recently? Almond milk, almond butter, almond flour, just to name a few. Plus talk about the different flavors that baked almonds come in. Just walking through the "snack" aisle at the grocery store, you'll see one tiny section with the "healthy" baked snacks. Among them: Brown sugar cinnamon almonds, honey dijon almonds, sea salt almonds and my personal favorite wasabi soy. Now, I don't usually eat soy, so these almonds are usually only a treat for me. But they're SOO good. 

Don't get me wrong, raw almonds are delicious. So are my recently postedCinnamon/Sugar Almonds here

Those were such a huge hit with the family, they didn't even last 2 days! So it was time for me to come up with a different almond recipe. Something to spice up or sweeten up the raw almond.  How about some Chocolate? and just to keep thinks exciting I decided to go for a spicy kick! I love the Chocolate/Cayenne Combination! 

A little disclaimer is needed here since these little nuts are soooooooooo addicting! I do not suggest eating 3 batches of this recipe and thinking "this will help lower my diabetes" because that's not true. This recipe should act as a "treat" just like my wasabi soy almonds. The recommendation is to include 1 oz ~ 23 raw/roasted (w/o salt) nuts to a healthy diet in order to soak up all the health benefits of the beautiful nut. 


3 c. raw almonds

2 egg whites
1 tbs. Sugar-free Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. baking Splenda
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a small bowl mix together egg whites and syrup. In a ziplock bag mix together cocoa powder, splenda and cayenne. Next, is pretty self-explanatory. Let almonds soak in egg white mixture for ~ 5 minutes. Transfer to ziplock bag and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! Spread out on parchment paper (do your best to separate them if you can!) Place in oven for 1 hr and 30 minutes on 250. Every 15-20 minutes, turn the almonds over. After 1 hr and 30 minutes turn off oven and let almonds sit for 30 more minutes. 

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