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October 28, 2010

30 Days of Fat Loss–Day #18: Almond Products + Recipe :)

By Jillian Teta

So, by now you may realize that the fat-loss lifestyle does not include gobs and gobs of grain and dairy products, which sadly is the backbone of the standard diet that we see these days in most American households.  Grain and dairy products are so widely used because they are so widely available, are convenient, tasty and supposedly “healthy”. As we know and have seen over and over again, unfortunately “healthy” does not always mean “will help your waistline and help you carve that bangin’ body you so desire.”

What if we told you that there is a food out there that can substitute for both grain and dairy products and be real easy on your waistline, actually helping you to achieve your fat loss and physique shaping goals? Would you be excited? We sure are and we are very happy to be talking to you about it today!

Drum roll, please! Let us bring to you the almond, the humble nut packing a big punch in its micro and macronutrient profiles, not to mention its taste!  We use almond in many forms: unsweetened almond milk as a very low fat, low carb alternative to milk and creamers, to be put in coffee, smoothies or our healthy baked treats; almond flour as a low carb, high protein, high fiber base to some of our healthy baked treats or sprinkled over broiled, herbed chicken as a substitute for breadcrumbs, or even added to our shakes (PS – we put everything is our shakes. Literally :)); almond extract adds a nice flavor to morning oat bran, smoothies, coffee or cocoa drinks; almond cheese as a low-fat, low-carb cheese alternative that comes in several flavors and is great shredded into omelets; and almond butter as a delicious alternative to peanut butter that can be spread on toast or on apples, or, if you are like us, enjoyed straight out of the jar with a spoon!  Here are some of our favorite almond products, all of which you can find at Whole Foods Markets and other natural grocers, but even conventional grocery stores are carrying almond milk and almond butter now:

We love almond products because as long as you are not allergic to nuts, they are anti-inflammatory, full of healthy fats, loaded with magnesium and are high in fiber and protein and very low in carbohydrate. They also taste delicious and can help you from never feeling like you have to be “deprived”.

To prove this to you, I am enclosing a very simple, extremely delicious recipe I want you all to try.  I have modified this from a recipe found in Clean Eating Magazine. It has 6 ingredients and pulls together in less than 30 minutes. It is flourless, dairy free, and tastes sinful – except it’s not!

Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup well-stirred unsalted almond butter (freshly ground is best :))
¾ cup erythritol (Z sweet, Zero, etc)
1 egg
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
3 oz dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, mix first 5 ingredients until well combined, and then stir in chocolate
Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned (don’t overbake! Trust me…)
Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, finish cooling on racks.

Enjoy! Makes roughly 24 cookies

Nutrition per cookie

Cals 80
Fat 8 grams
Carbs 5 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Sodium 55 mg

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