In honor of National Almond Day I have changed to today’s recipe and added almonds to my Blondies. I created the original recipe for Gwyneth Paltrow and it was featured on her lifestyle blog www.goop.com Substituting almond flour and coconut flour in place of wheat flour makes them Gluten-free. Almond flour and finely ground almonds are often used in baking adding texture, flavor and nutrition. There are many reasons I’m nuts about almonds and you will be too. They are a delicious and nutritious high energy super food and so easy to take along as a healthy snack choice. Here’s just a few of their health benefits. Studies have shown that just a handful of almonds a day may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They’re also one of the most nutrient-dense nuts and are a rich source of vitamin E. Almonds have been prized as a food source for centuries and were a treasured ingredient in breads served in Egypt to the pharos. They were also mentioned in the Bible. In ancient times, Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm. To this day Americans still give guest bags of sugared almonds at weddings representing, romance, happiness, children, good fortune and health. In Sweden, for Christmas a cinnamon rice pudding is served with an almond hidden inside. The one who finds the almond is said to have good fortune for the year ahead. Almonds are thought to have come from Central Asia and China and explores ate them while they traveled the Silk Road, which was the trade route between Asia and the Mediterranean. They so loved almonds that in no time trees were planted and flourished in the Mediterranean and did very well in Spain and Italy. In the 1700’s almond trees were brought to California by Spain’s Franciscan Padres. They planted them along the cool moist coast, but this did not provide the best growing conditions. The trees needed drier hotter climate to thrive and by 1870 they were successfully being grown inland. By the beginning of the 20th century, the almond industry was going strong in California’s great Central Valley mainly in Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. This area still produces most of the domestic almonds we enjoy today. I hope you love the Blondies and here’s a suggestion for boosting the nutritional value of your almonds. Soak ½ cup raw almonds, in just enough water to cover them overnight causing them to sprout. This makes them easier to chew and they are then considered a live food bursting with healthy benefits! Don’t miss my article for National Banana Bread Day, February 23 and recipe for Tropical Banana Bread with Pineapple and Coconut.
These sweet treats are sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s the number one thing I am asked to bring when I visit friends and clients request them all the time too. Let your kids help you make them and they will be so proud of their creations. Please use organic ingredients whenever possible. It does make a difference.
- 1 Cup butter (room temp)
- ¾ Cup white sugar
- ¾ Cup brown sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour (or 1 ½ cups almond flour and 1 ¼ cup coconut flour)
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt
- ½ Teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Cup shredded un-sweetened coconut
- 1 Cup white chocolate chips
- ¾ Cup small marshmallows
- ¾ Cup almond (coarsely chopped)
- Using an electric mixer combine butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together until creamy. You can also mix by hand if you are looking for a good workout. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix well. In a separate bowl mix together flour (or almond flour and coconut flour), sea salt, and baking powder. Then add the flour mixture to the batter slowly and mix well. I you are using an electric mixer add a little at a time because the flour has a tendency to fly everywhere. Add the coconut, white chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds and blend together. Put the mixture in a Med/LG baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes then check and cover the Blondies loosely with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray so the top does not burn and continue baking until the insides are a bit firm for about 10 to 15 minutes longer. They should still be a little soft and chewy inside when done. Let them cool if you can wait or sever warm with ice cream.
Visit Chef Kate’s website www.chefkatealiveandcooking.com and the Kora Organics Blog www.koraorganics.com (under Chef Kate) for more healthy organic recipes and articles. Image By: Lauren Lemons www.laurenlemons.com