Hola! And welcome to the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
Every day I’ll be posting a Whole30 friendly recipe or food corresponding to the letter of the day. Or as close as I can get it! You’ll see what I mean down the road. To learn more about the Whole30 and the A to Z challenge, check out this post.
I’m starting off with almonds. Specifically, almond meal.
Nuts in general saved my life on my Whole30. And I had an intense love affair with almonds. They are extremely versatile and go with EVERYTHING. And they’re so, so good for you!
Because I have quite a bit of time between when my husband goes to work and when I go to work, making creative breakfasts to fuel my day became a ritual and a joy. I knew I had to get cracking on something to put in my coffee, however, because I am a cream kinda girl (that’s what she said) and black coffee just wasn’t doing it for me.
So I blended up almonds and water to make almond milk. When I do this normally, I use honey or maple syrup as a sweetener, but neither of those is Whole30 friendly so it was straight almonds and water. It added a nice flavour to my coffee and gave me the little bit of creaminess that made my morning cup the satisfying fuel it needed to be.
But, what is left over when you strain your almonds? Sweet and delicious almond meal.
I quickly discovered that this is quite a treat.
I’m an oatmeal loving girl, and cereals are a weakness of mine. Those are both out on the Whole30, but almonds are safe and eating them all crunched up into a paste is delightful! I’d eat it alone for a fulfilling treat, or topped with berries for a full breakfast.
Aside from simply enjoying fresh almond meal, it also makes for a good thickener in sauces with a little extra added protein. Or I’d just add it to my salads before giving the container a shake to add sweetness and even more nutrients to my lunches.
More than a few times I used crunched up almonds as a batter for chicken or pork. Toss raw almonds, coconut oil, and a pinch of ginger into the blender, and then slather the salt and peppered meat with an egg wash and pack the almond mixture on it. Either frying in olive oil or baking gives a really nice flavour and crispy texture. Even my husband wanted to eat some of my almond crusted chicken, and he was pretty skeptical about most of my Whole30 food.
As a side note, make sure that if you’re buying almonds that they’re raw, not roasted. Roasted tastes delicious, but raw almonds have more nutrients. And if you’re craving roasted, you can always roast some of your fresh ones in the oven!
What do you use your almonds for?