Snacking is my secret to not over eating during the day! Healthy snacking can be challenging if you're not prepared, that's why I take at least one day out of the week to get everything chopped, sliced, seasoned, and/or baked. One of my favorite snacks is almonds... I love the crunch, flavor and healthy nutrients they add to my diet!
Almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts to snack on, because they contain:
Monounsaturated fats - Heart healthy fats that lower "bad cholesterol" and increase "good cholesterol".
Fiber - Makes you feel fuller so that you eat less and also helps lower your cholesterol.
Vitamin E - Helps heart health by stopping the build-up of plaque in your arteries.
L-arginine - An amino acid that helps improve the health of you artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots.
Here is one of my favorite ways to spice up plain almonds and add pizazz to my afternoon:
Roasted Rosemary Almonds Recipe
Makes 2 cups
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
A dash of ground red pepper (optional)
1 (10 ounce) bag of whole-unsalted almonds (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
(For a closer to raw version, see tip below.)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat
Arrange nut mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or foil)
Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly toasted
Cool to room temperature and ENJOY! Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
If you are having a hard time getting the ingredients to stick to the almonds add one frothed egg white to the mix and increase your bake time by 2-3 minutes
If you like extra flavor, add more rosemary and chile powder! (Rosemary has many health benefits including boosting your immune system and improving digestion. Chile powder is rich in vitamins and minerals.)
Closer to raw version (keeping the almond truer to natural form): Bake at about 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes