In part of my Staples in the Kitchen series I wanted to introduce a few snacks that I always have on hand, ones that I rely on constantly throughout the week to give me a quick boost in energy. As many of us are setting healthy eating intentions for the New Year, I know how important it is to have delicious and filling snacks around the house to make this transition a little easier. The last thing I want to do is open my cupboards to find only empty shelves swiped clean of my old habits but with nothing delicious in its place.
When I first started to delve into eating healthier I was nervous that I wouldn’t have enough snack options to sustain it throughout the day. This is why I quickly turned to nut butter and dates, and especially dates stuffed with nut butter. I kept hearing all the wonderful nutritious benefits of dates and how they taste like caramel and before I knew it I fully obliged and was on the bandwagon. Dates and nut butters are one of my favorite snacks that are an incredible source of natural energy – this is why I consider them a staple food. Nut butters are incredibly easy to make and make the transition into healthy eating that much easier. Making your own homemade almond butter allows you to see how delicious and easy healthy eating can be! It doesn’t involve any fancy tricks or machinery, just nuts and a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor you could buy almond butter at any health food store and simply mix in the cinnamon and honey at home – again, keeping it very simple! I adore adding cinnamon and honey to my almond butter as it brings another layer of flavor to snacks.
The wonderful thing about having nut butters as a staple in the kitchen is that you can add a dollop of this creamy butter to many meal. I never seem to exhaust the ways in which to use almond butter, especially to cure myself from a midday slump or for a post-workout bite. I enjoy it alongside my chia seed raspberry jam for a healthy PB & J, smeared on sliced bananas and apples, dolloped in between soft dates and in it’s most simplest form – by the spoonful.
Almond butter is also very nutritious as it helps the body regulate blood sugar, is high in fiber, and full of healthy fats. Each serving of almond butter has 18 grams of fat, but don’t be fearful, as these are unsaturated fatty acids. These fats will provide you with energy and actually improve your blood cholesterol levels. This type of fat is extremely necessary for maintaining a healthy body. Dates are another snack that is highly revered for its nutritional content. Dates are a great source of natural sugar, fiber and energy. This is why I love to have them post-workout when I’m feeling a bit tired. If you’re backed up dates also work great as a food laxative to help improve bowl movements. Hopefully these delicious snacks will help fuel you into the New Year, inspiring you to find simple ways to enjoy eating well!
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Ingredients for the Almond Butter:
- 2 1/2 cups roasted almonds
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- sprinkle of sea salt
Simply place the roasted nuts into a food processor with a sprinkle of sea salt and blend until a thick and creamy nut butter forms, this should take about 15-20 minutes. If you have raw nuts you can place them into the oven on 350F for 10 minutes to roast. Set aside until they are cool and ready for grinding. Once the nut butter has formed, mix in the honey and cinnamon. Store in an airtight contain in the refrigerator and enjoy!