Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and Falling.....

falling off the wagon that is. January is known for healthy resolutions and then February comes along with it's hearts, flowers and chocolates and ruins it all. I love  a great piece of chocolate just like the next girl but this V-Day I refuse to fall off of my little red wagon. (Not to mention my trainer will make me accountable for every unhealthy morsel I put in my mouth) If you have seen these cocoa roasted almonds in the store and wondered if they are any good, let me put your mind at ease....they are wonderful! Huge hit of cocoa, slightly sweet, with a nice little I believe that covers all the criteria for the perfect snack. Where the taste had me at hello...the label had me saying bye bye with modified food starch, artificial flavors, and sucralose. But low and behold my valentine's day heart I have stumbled upon a healthy recipe for these jewels, not to mention they can be made at home at a much cheaper price. So throw caution to the wind, stay on your wagon, and have a great cocoa filled Valentines Day! Enjoy!

Spiced Cocoa Nuts
1egg white
2Tbs high quality cocoa powder
3Tbs. xylitol
1/4tsp vanilla
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp salt
1/8tsp ground cloves
3cups raw almonds (or have a party in your mouth and use a variety of nuts to equal the three cups)
Preheat oven to 325 and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk egg white for at least 30 seconds until light and foamy. Add cocoa, xylitol,vanilla, cinnamon, salt and cloves, and whisk together until smooth. Stir in nuts until well coated. Spoon nuts onto prepared cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 7 minutes and stir. Bake another 7 minutes and stir again. (be carful not to overcook, as they will scorch)Allow nuts to cool and break up if necessary. They will harden as they cool. Store in glass container in refrigerator.
Note: Xylitol is a naturlly occuring sugar found in berries, fruit, veggies, and mushrooms. It is lower in calories than sugar and does not require insulin to metabolize so it is a good choice for diabetics.
Almonds are a great source for calcium, magnesium, and folic acid. High in antioxidants and contains phyotchemicals to support cardiovascular health and prevent cancer.

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