Almond butter is awesome stuff. Not 50% awesome stuff or 75% awesome, but a full 100% awesome. I dare say almond butter deserves an organic cherry to go right on top of its awesomeness. Almond butter deserves nothing but the highest quality cherry, but of course.
Why is almond butter so awesome? The obvious answer is that it tastes really good, especially when combined with other fantastic tasting stuff (in this case chocolate) and is super duper creamy, but that’s not what makes almond butter 100% awesome and deserving of a high quality organic cherry.
You know what’s coming, don’t you? Almond butter rocks because it’s so darn good for our bodies. It’s better for us than peanut butter and cashew butter, those other two nut butters that are almost as awesome. Sorry peanut butter for this betrayal; remember I still love you dearly!
Let’s take a look at some nutrition fun facts about nuts and almonds before we get to the recipe. Remember that raw nut butter has the same nutritional profile as raw almonds (as long as you aren’t buying the roasted, salted variety). Make sure the almond butter you purchase doesn’t contain any icky additives like sugar either!
Almond FUN FACTS:
1) Raw almond butter is jam packed with antioxidants that promote wellness and longevity. Lignans, bioflavonoids, minerals, and phytosterols are just some of the names of the wellness-promoting compounds found in almonds (and other nuts too!).
2) The fibers, phytochemicals and other antioxidants found in nuts like almonds are unique to nuts and cannot be found in other foods (such as polyphenols and arginine). This may be why they have unique longevity promoting properties!
3) Eat almonds often to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol! A review of 23 intervention trials showed that eating nuts daily decreases total cholesterol and normalizes the dangerous type of LDL molecule that damages blood vessels and promotes heart disease.
4) Although almonds are high in fat, they are high in healthy monosaturated fats. And get this, they are associated with more weight loss, not weight gain!
5) Almonds contain more vitamin E than any other nut (although sunflower seeds contain the most of all nuts and seeds). Vitamin E has been associated with clearer skin, a reduced risk of dementia/cognitive decline later in life and alleviation of chronic inflammation. Win, win and win.
What is a decent serving size of nuts each day to get the health benefits? About 1-2 tablespoons of whole nuts or raw nut butter should do the trick! Or eat one of these muffins, but of course!
Double Chocolate Almond Butter Muffins
Ingredients (makes 12-14 muffins):
1 cup oat flour
2/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup date sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 and 1/2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 dried figs, heated in the microwave for 30 seconds with hot water
1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips and/or almond butter chips*
*See recipe for almond butter chips below.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
2) In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
3) In a blender, combine ground flaxseeds, nondairy milk, vanilla extract and heated/softened figs. Blend until a creamy liquid forms.
4) Pour blended mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. You may have to use your (clean) hands for mixing as this is the most efficient way to completely combine the dry ingredients with the blended mixture. Don’t be afraid to go crazy and play with the batter a bit!
5) Divide batter equally into the muffin cups. Sprinkle chocolate and/or almond butter chunks on top of each muffin (I just used the homemade almond chips). Poke some of them into each muffin and leave some on top. Bake for 15 minutes, at which point the muffins will be fully risen and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. You may need to set a timer for yourself. I actually had to make these muffins 2x because the first time I burnt them! It was sad, but then I made another batch and was happy again.
Almond Butter Chips
Ingredients (makes 3/4 cup):
1/4 cup raw almond butter
1 teaspoon unsweetened almond milk
1 and 1/2 tablespoons date sugar
1) Line a tin loaf pan with wax paper or parchment paper.
2) Mix together all ingredients (the texture should resemble think and fudgy cookie dough), place in loaf pan and flatten out dough with the back of a spoon.
3) Refrigerate lightly covered for 1 day. Slice into desired size with a pizza cutter and gently separate the chips.
The almond butter chips are way too delicious. I think I found myself a new on-the-go snack!
Peace, love and KALE,