Dessert

Chocolate Almond Crunch

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Who knew chocolate could be so good for you! With the addition of quinoa puffs and almonds this recipe is really nutritious. Avoid buying processed chocolate full of refined sugar and treat yourself to this instead!

Ingredients:

Maple Almonds:

  • 100g almonds
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup (feel free to use honey but the maple flavour is really great in this recipe)

Chocolate:

  • 150g cacao butter
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup/honey
  • 100g cacao powder
  • 30g quinoa puffs
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  • Coat the almonds in maple syrup and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Roast the almonds for ~7-10 minutes. Shuffle the almonds about once or twice.
  • Melt the cacao butter over a low heat.
  • Add the cacao powder and maple syrup to the melted cacao butter and stir well.
  • Add the quinoa puffs, maple almonds and salt and mix evenly throughout.
  • Pour the mixture into a 8×8 brownie tray and leave to set in the fridge/freezer for ~2 -3 hours.
  • Once it has set cut/snap the bar as desired and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutritional Information: 

Cacao Butter

  • Rich in the monounsaturated fat oleic acid which may lower ”bad” LDL cholesterol and raise ”good” HDL cholesterol.
  • Rich in polyphenols which reduces oxidative stress and improves immune function.

Cacao Powder

  • Great source of magnesium which plays an important role in a wide variety of biochemical reactions in the body.
  • Also rich in a range of other minerals, such as iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, zinc and copper.
  • Contains a high level of antioxidants which fights oxidative stress.
  • Rich in theobromine which stimulates the release of endorphins, resulting in an anti-depressant effect.

Almonds

  • Great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.
  • Great source of a number of B vitamins;
    • Rich in folate which is vital for a healthy pregnancy.
    • Rich in riboflavin which helps with red blood cell production, body growth and to process carbohydrates.
    • Rich in niacin which is often used to improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risk.
    • Rich in thiamin which helps the body to process carbohydrates and protein.
  • Great source of unsaturated fats
    • The high levels of unsaturated fats are great to help ease inflammation (great post exercise) and may also improve cholesterol levels.
  • It might be an energy dense food but there is no need to avoid it.
    • A review of 20 clinical trials showed no weight gain or even weight loss individuals consuming 1 -2 cups of nuts a day
    • Possibly due to the amino acid arginine which may boost fat burning.
  • Consuming nuts considerably reduces the risk of developing diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

Quinoa Puffs

  • Unlike other grains, quinoa is considered a complete protein. It is one of only a few plant foods that contains all essential amino acids.
  • Rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre.
  • Rich in the monounsaturated fats oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These have both been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. These effects are particularly beneficial for diabetics and pre-diabetics.
    • Oleic acid – Studies suggest that oleic acid has a beneficial effect on cancer, autoimmune diseases and anti-inflammatory diseases.
    • ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has been shown to decrease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes) and may also stop/slow down the damage done by a variety of health conditions from HIV to liver disease.
  • Rich in the flavonoids Quercetin and Kaempferol. These potent antioxidants have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant effects.

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