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Raw almonds are heralded as being one of the healthiest snacks out there. One handful of these bad boys will keep cravings at bay, fill your body with good fats and protein, and can lower the risk of weight gain. As long as you maintain proper portion control (remember: 22 almonds = 1 serving,) you will experience the many good things that come with adding almonds to your diet.

Additionally, according to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture, the benefits of almonds don’t stop there.

Research shows that our bodies naturally absorb 25% fewer calories from these awesome nuts than are listed on the nutrition panel! How, you might ask? Well, our bodies can’t break down all the components of these nuts, no matter how much we chew, so those calories don’t get absorbed! Voila – same satisfaction, fewer calories taken in. Before you get too excited, though, this does not hold true for almond butter (the almonds have been broken down for you here) so put down the spoon and walk away from the jar (2 TBSP is a serving and every bit counts!)

So, what does this mean for you?

If you are looking to stay on top of your health and fitness goals, whether they be eating more healthily, losing weight, or anything in between, almonds should be your go-to snack (don’t get us wrong – we love all nuts, but this is exciting news!) They are loaded with good fats, beneficial to heart health, and help prevent diabetes, all with fewer calories than listed! What could be better than that? Well, maybe these Cocoa-coated almonds we whipped up a few weeks ago. They’re delicious!

 

Cocoa-Coated Almonds

(Recipe adapted from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook)

Screenshot 2017-01-25 at 10.41.52 AMIngredients

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 pinches salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Put the almonds in a large, shallow bowl and drizzle with the oil. Use your hands to coat the almonds in the oil. Sprinkle the sweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt over the almonds and toss them in the bowl until all of the almonds are lightly dusted with cocoa. You can do this by holding the bowl on either side and tossing the almonds in the air or using a rubber spatula to scoop underneath the almonds and turn them over. It takes a good 10 or more turns to adequately coat the almonds.
  3. Pour the almonds onto 2 baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper. Bake until toasted, 15 to 20 minutes. When you start to really smell the almonds, they are probably done.
  4. Cool and store in a container with a tight lid.