Recipe · Snacks

Low-carb snacking 101

I think it’s safe to say that everyone at some point has had a craving for a deliciously salty snack. We stalk around our kitchen looking for the answer, “A handful of nuts? A spoonful of almond butter? The ancient bag of half-eaten chips that you bought when your sister came to visit?” Hmm….what about a cracker that promises just the right amount of salt with an amazing punch of flavor? Yes, please!

Some of you may be thinking, “How can I turn a cracker into a healthy, low carb snack?” The answer my friends is in that beautiful nut* we all know and loving refer to as the almond. Here are some fun facts about almond flour, which help to showcase its super-food qualities:

  • Almond flour is significantly lower in carb versus regular white wheat flour (19.44g  vs 76.22g, respectively) and has a 70-fold lower score on the glycemic index (a topic I look forward to discussing in future posts).
  • Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats (also found in olive oil), which have been linked with lowering cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Almonds are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins including: vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
  • Incorporating almonds into your diet has been linked to enhanced satiety (ie. feeling full).

This recipe was inspired by several of the gluten-free cracker recipes found on “Elana’s Pantry”. If you haven’t taken the time to visit her site, I highly suggest it. She really is a mecca of knowledge when it comes to almond flour-based cooking. I tweaked this recipe to include a little bit of my Italian flare. I think the sun dried tomato and basil combination provide bold flavors that are sure to satisfy any craving. I hope you enjoy!

Reagents:

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatos
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Protocol:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Combine the almond flour, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside
  • Chop the basil and sun dried tomato into finely diced size pieces (I used a food processor here)
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the basil and tomatoes and mix or pulse in the food processor until well combined
  • Add the egg and olive oil to the dry ingredients and pulse until the dough comes together
  • Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment until ~1/8 inch thick (the parchment paper is a MUST since the dough is sticky)
  • Cut dough into 2 inch squares and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  • Cool and serve either by themselves or with a little dollop of hummus or goat cheese for the perfect low-carb snack

This recipe makes ~ 3 dozen crackers, suggested serving size is 6 crackers

Nutritional info per serving: 210 calories, 8g carb, 18g fat, 7g protein, 2g sugar, 3g fiber

This recipe is dedicated to one of my closest friends from back home in Pittsburgh who requested something salty and low carb to fulfill her late night snack attack. Hope you enjoy Beck!

Helpful almond info links:

*While commonly referred to as a tree nut, almonds are technically considered a “drupe” or seed of the fruit that grows in a almond tree. Almond tree fruit is a cousin to the cherry and apricot. I would be very interested in trying the almond fruit! Has anyone ever tasted one?

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6 thoughts on “Low-carb snacking 101

  1. This sounds great; only problem is that I’m highly allergic to almonds, but I will look for an alternative for it:)) Thanks for posting and I look forward to sharing more with you:)))

    1. What about coconut flour? I researched briefly and it seems like there is some confusion as to whether tree nut allergies also lead to coconut allergies. If you can handle coconut, I bet this flour would work nicely here too. In fact, maybe I’ll add that to the list of new recipes to try in the future.

  2. Something I’d love to try. For dummies like myself, it would be helpful to know where you buy the ingredients (catalog numbers?) and what special “machines” you use.

    1. Dear YS, I think the only real “exotic” ingredient here is the almond flour. I buy mine in bulk from amazon (see link), since the smaller bags are really marked up at the grocery store. The sun dried tomatoes should be in the “italian” section. Interesting use of the word “machines”. For this recipe I used a food processor to chop everything up and combine the flour, but you could easy do the knife work by hand and then mix using a wooden spoon. Good Luck!

      http://www.amazon.com/Blanched-Almond-Meal-Flour-lb/dp/B0006ZN538

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