Let me be honest - I love nuts. I am nuts. And among nuts - Almonds are the winner for me. Whenever it comes to incorporating any nutty flavor, the first name that pops up in my mind is Almond.
Apart from the usual sing-song to eat almonds daily to improve memory - almonds are legit health treasure trove. They are good for heart, rich in vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, fibres and what not! A daily dose of 6-8 almonds is often recommended for its health benefits.
I had been toying with the idea to bake something purely based on almonds and finally brushed aside my laziness to bake a quick, easy and super healthy almond cookies.
For the recipe, I used almond meal (prepared at home) and almond butter (also made at home..hehehehe) - which will be detailed in below steps. You can use almond flour available in the market - the difference between the two being - almond flour is made of blanched almonds without peel, whereas the almond meal is made by grinding the raw almonds along with its peel.
So here we go...
2 cup almond flour/meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup honey / maple syrup (for vegan preparation)
1/2 cup dark choco chips
Prepare the almond meal - take raw unpeeled almonds and grind them in your mixer for not more than 30sec. They get easily grinded and excessive grinding can lead to release of oil and making the flour sticky. This process is super easy and quick. You can also purchase readymade almond flour from market - that would work as well in this recipe
Prepare almond butter - this is easily available in market and you may avoid this step altogether. However, in all my vegan recipes, I have a personal preference to prepare the almond butter at home - coz its super duper easy with 2 simple steps - Roast & Grind. (a) Take your raw almonds and roast them in oven at 160 deg for 20-25mins. Every oven behaves in a unique way when it comes to timing setting so when you start getting the fragnance of roasted almonds, you know its done. (b) Cool down the roasted almonds and then put them in a mixer to grind. This process takes a little more time than previous step of making almond flour. The almonds will transition from flour to releasing oil to becoming a slurry mix. At this point you may add little maple syrup or cinnamon for flavour and if it seems too thick, you can add a little veg oil (like 1 tsp thats it). The mix will evolve at the end of the grinding as smooth buttery texture. Store it in an airtight container inside fridge and it can stay good for use for a long time :)
Coming back to our recipe, take equal measures of vegetable oil and almond butter - mix them together
Add almond flour, salt and baking soda to it and mix
Add honey or maple syrup if you wish to prepare 100% vegan recipe
Add dark choco chips and mix all things together to get a smooth soft dough
Take a scoop to make balls of dough and drop it on your parchment paper covered tray
Put the tray inside a preheated oven and bake it for 15mins at 160deg Cel
As you observe the edges getting brown, its time to take it out. Please note - do not over-bake as this dough is super soft and can burn pretty quickly
Cool down the cookies on cooling tray for 10-15mins and your super yummy healthy cookies are ready to chomp!
As you might have noticed this recipe does not use any kind of dairy products, refined sugar or refined flour. This is an absolute gluten-free, vegan blockbuster recipe that can be easily prepared at home - Go ahead and try yourself ! :)