I’m always up for any challenge that encourages eating almonds. Truth is, a task this delicious is far from a challenge. Almonds are super easy for this culinary dietitian to love. Grown just south of us in the California sun, almonds are a nutrient-rich, ideal ingredient in all of the usual yummy ways…straight up as a snack, tossed into savoury stir fries, warm quinoa dishes and salads or as a fibre- and protein-booster at breakfast. (Almond recipes). PLUS, they’re an incredibly versatile baking ingredient whether used whole, ground into almond meal or finely chopped, as demonstrated in the snack recipe featured here.
“Because it’s 2016!” This updated version of a classic no-bake cookie that everyone loves is rich in deliciousness, fibre, whole grains and almond goodness. It’s easy to make so let the kids help too. The hardest part is waiting about an hour while they firm up in the fridge. Not that you can’t eat them while they’re still setting.
The possibly-easiest-cookie-to-make recipe can be made in the classic way with butter, milk, sugar and cocoa powder or if preferred, sub in ‘trendy’ (and vegan) coconut oil, dark cocoa powder, unrefined cane sugar and almond milk. Bonus: It’s a scrumptious cookie that’s also gluten-free! Whether the Classic or the ‘Because it’s 2016’ version, it’s made with 75% less sugar than the original recipe! A great reminder that we can have our cake, er cookie, and eat it too! I wonder which version Prime Minister Trudeau would choose?
Chocolate Almond Haystacks Makes about 30 cookies
- 1½ cups Canadian-grown rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if needed)
- ¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup finely chopped salted, roasted almonds (I put them in the food processor to chop)
- ½ cup unsalted butter or coconut oil
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar or golden unrefined cane sugar
- 1 tsp pure almond extract, optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut and almonds.
- In a saucepan, combine butter (or coconut oil), cocoa powder, milk and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is melted. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract, if using. (Use if you like a super ‘almondy’ flavour.)
- Pour cocoa mixture over oat mixture and stir well. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. They can be placed quite close together. (Wetting the tablespoon every so often with warm water makes this step go even easier.)
- Place in fridge and allow to set, a minimum of 1 hour. Cookies can be kept in the fridge or frozen.
Two or three of these yummy treats in your snack and life is good!