Remember when you were younger and chocolates and sweets seemed like an absolute necessity of life? Not dessert, but like a requirement of one’s daily intake, like your 4 servings of vegetables. Who even does that at the age of seven? And then you get older and the world corrupts you and takes all the fun away and you are left looking longingly at the box of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies lurking at you in your cupboard. They have always been your favorite, but eating a whole sleeve at the age of 25 seems like a bit much. So like a good girl, you stop at 6 cookies and realize you have just eaten the caloric equivalent of a moderately sized lunch. Why does sugar have to be so freaking good!?! And why did God create the brain so that it responds to sugar in the same way as it does to cocaine, making the bond between you and a doughnut seem like more than a dependent relationship, and more like fate. Please tell me this isn’t just me!!!
This year, I’ve started to try and slowly gravitate toward a more wholesome approach to eating, something like the Paleo diet, but not quite so stringent. Mostly because I’m not ready to go all Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and embrace the whole “food is fuel” mentality and then allow myself one day to eat 12 pizzas, which will inevitably remind me that I was nuts to give up pizza and cupcakes in the first place, and then we’re back to square one. But, in a very small step for this woman, I’m trying to give up sugar in all of it’s refined forms, and it is HARD.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m all about gradual transitions that are so small that I basically won’t notice. SOOO, in an attempt to find some success in this new, sometimes seemingly moronic, goal of mine, I’ve decided I need backups for when I am literally to that point where I am prying my fingers off the ice cream container. Medical school is stressful okay!
My mother-in-law introduced me to the beautiful world that is Cocoa Roasted Almonds. Frankly, they are one of the highlights of my day when I have them on hand. They have enough fat and protein in them and a low enough amount of sugar, that they are a treat I seriously don’t feel one ounce of guilt over. AND they keep my appetite in check for hours with just a small amount. However, as I am up to my eyeballs in debt, I cannot really justify spending 14 dollars on a relatively small bag no matter how much I love them.
So of course I had to set out on a journey to recreate these crunchy, chocolate-dusted goodies. It was a no brainer. Through a little trial and error, I finally struck gold. And, Win-Win, I’ll be saving a little more change from month to month. The hubby will be thrilled and I’m totally confident he’ll let me buy a new pair of shoes as a congratulatory prize. And if you think that could be even remotely true, sadly, you are mistaken and I’m totally dreaming. So maybe I’ll go grab those Girl Scout Cookies after all…Kidding!
XOXO – Emmy Lou Lou
Cocoa Dusted Almonds
• 3 Cups natural almonds
• 2 Tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa
• 1 Tablespoon stevia, can also substitute sugar
• 1 Teaspoon sea salt
• Preheat oven to 275 degrees
• In a large bowl combine almonds, cocoa, stevia, and salt and mix until well combined
• Pour almonds onto a large baking sheet and spread out evenly
• Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
• Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a sealed container
** You can adjust the amount of sweetener/sugar you want to use in your recipe to your desired sweetness, or use sweetened cocoa powder.