Crunchy Almond Cacao Nib Cookies

You may recall I recently posted a homemade almond milk recipe.  Many of you asked what to do with all that beautiful leftover almond pulp.  Well, here is a very simple and delicious cookie recipe made with just that.  To start off, you will need to dry out the almond pulp to create a fine almond flour.  I normally freeze the almond pulp until I intend on using it.  So, remove from freezer and set your oven to the lowest temperature (mine was at 170°F).  Lay out the almond pulp onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop in the oven for 2 – 3 hours, or until completely dry.  Keep an eye on it in the second hour to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Place into a food processor and whiz until it is a fine flour.  Don’t whiz for too long, or you will end up with almond butter.  It sounds more complicated than it is, trust me.  Store the flour in the fridge between uses to keep it fresh.  If you don’t have homemade almond flour for this recipe, by all means, use store bought.

On to the cookies!  These cookies are really guilt free.  They are refined sugar-free, dairy free, and filled with nutritional ingredients.  They are very light and the cacao nibs offer the perfect crunchy texture.  If you are unfamiliar with cacao nibs, they are nature’s chocolate chips.   Cacao nibs are literally cacao beans that have been roasted and separated from their husks, then peeled and crumbled.  They may look sweet, but they really aren’t.  They are pure, bitter cacao.  They offer a great crunch to baked goods, or if you really want to be wild, toss them into a fresh green salad.  Cacao nibs are also very nutritional.  Did you know they have a higher antioxidant level than blueberries?  Also,   they are one of the best sources of magnesium.  Ladies, you are familiar with those chocolate cravings when PMS-ing.  Studies show magnesium deficiencies aggravate symptoms of PMS.  So, chocolate cravings may be the body’s attempt to obtain sufficient magnesium levels.  Cacao nibs offer a great, natural way to include this important mineral in your diet, and crush those chocolate cravings.  Besides, they are also great mood enhancers.

Onto the recipe…

Crunchy Almond Cacao Nib Cookies
Yields 16
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  2. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  3. 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  4. 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  5. 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, almonds, coconut, and cacao nibs.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheet about 1-2″ apart.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea and store the rest of the cookies in an air tight container for up to a week.
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