Monday, January 25, 2010

Almond Coconut Cookies

I have been trying to decrease my intake of sugar and simple carbs. I usually don't really have a sweet tooth but because I am trying not to eat sugar I am therefore craving it. So this morning I wanted to make a cookie that would satisfy my craving for something sweet but would still be lower in carbs and even offer some nutrition. These cookies are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy and corn free and very low in sugar. They are sweetened with a bit of honey. What they are not is taste free. They are surprisingly good. Additionally they are high in fiber and are incredibly satisfying. And Yes! the kids and husband actually like them. Store them in the fridge and feel free to use these as a healthy snack in between meals. I have also used grape seed oil for the first time. Grape seed oil is a bit pricey so I had resisted buying it. Then I read a bit about it.

Grape seed oil is an excellent source of the antioxidant Vitamin E, as well as a beneficial monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that researchers from the University of California, Irvine found can suppress food cravings in between meals. During digestion, oleic acid is converted into oleoylethanolamide (OEA), a hunger fighting hormone that stimulates cells which tell your brain that you're full. Further, adding grape seed oil to high glycemic foods, like refined breads, white rice and potatoes, can slow the rise in blood sugar levels. Fast rising blood sugar triggers your pancreas to release a flood of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar but also signals your body to store fat. A caveat: The nasty chemical hexane is often used to extract the oil from the grape seeds so look for organic or expeller pressed varieties. (Excerpt from Living Without Magazine Feb March 2010 issue)

So, I think I will be using much more of this very mild and neutral tasting oil in the future. Impressive isn't it?!

Almond Coconut Cookies

2 cups raw almonds

1 cup fine shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/8 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup grape seed oil

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 oz 60% -72% chocolate. (I used Ghirardelli)

In a food processor add almonds and process until you have as fine a meal as your machine will make. Add remaining ingredients and process for another minute or two. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take teaspoons full and roll into balls and press down into discs about 1/2 inch thick. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until they are just starting to brown. While cookies are baking, slowly melt melt chocolate in a small nonstick pot. When cookies are done let them cool for a bit then drizzle chocolate over top. Store in the fridge.


birdy said...

mmm, these sound wonderful! i have type 1 diabetes ("juvenile" diabetes) and eat a whole foods diet. making cookies can be hard for me, let alone fixing that sweet tooth! i love this recipe, thanks for posting!!

Kim said...

Let me know if you try it and how you like it. They were super easy to make and the batch yesterday made 30. There are about half a dozen left. So we really like them!

Rachel said...

Those look really good. I think I'll give them a try. I've got almond meal in the freezer. Do you happen to know how much almond meal is made by grinding up the 1 c of almonds?

Kim said...

I didn't measure but I am guessing about a cup and a half. It probably doesn't matter. The only thing binding the cookies together is the oil. So you could play with the amount of almond and oil until you get something that holds together when you squish it into a ball.
Enjoy! As I sit here writing this I am having a couple of them with a cup of tea. Yum!