NATIONAL BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY

tl-11-7-national-bittersweet-chocolate-with-almonds-day

Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla have been added.  It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate.  Recent studies have revealed health benefits from eating small quantities of bittersweet chocolate. Almonds have health benefits as well.
 So of course for this day I have a low-carb recipe for you! sacher-cake-1194524
LOW-CARB SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE HEAVEN CAKE
Ingredients:
10.5 oz. dark 70-75% chocolate
6 oz. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 Tbs. heavy cream
4 tsp. granulated Splenda
Instructions:
Melt chocolate & butter together over low heat in saucepan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding vanilla extract.  In another bowl, beat eggs, cream and Splenda together for 3-4 minutes with a stick blender or hand whisk.  It will be frothy and remain runny.  Slowly add egg mix to chocolate mix in the saucepan, stirring constantly.  As you add more egg mix, the chocolate and butter will thicken to the consistency of custard.
Grease an 8″ round spring form pan with butter and line the loose bottom with parchment paper.  Push paper through the outer ring to seal and stop the cake batter from leaking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Garnish with slivered almonds, if desired.
The greater percentage of cocoa you use, the less sugar there is – but if you try to use anything higher than 75% it gets very bitter.  Most of the time I use 70% because it seems to be easier to find.  I get it at my local Walmart. 3b00db48ffe0a619
Feel free to put as much whipped topping on your cake as you want.  There are no carbs in Reddi Whip (my favorite).  Of course, I put it on my cake and immediately shoot a little in my mouth when nobody’s watching!  Just because I’m adult doesn’t mean I have to act like one.
I don’t know of any businesses with freebies today.  It’d sure be nice if our local nut shop would give some bittersweet chocolate and / or almonds away today.  Eating low-carb can get a little expensive.  That’s why I got so excited when I found 70% cacao bars at Walmart.  Score!!! 
Have a blessed day – and enjoy your cake!  🙂
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NATIONAL ALMOND DAY

TL 2-16 NATIONAL ALMOND DAY

 

2-16 FROM HEAD TO TOE

Almonds offer so many benefits in our everyday life, yet it seems to be a nut that is overlooked.  Today let’s take a look at them and find the joy to be had from these little beauties.  Today is NATIONAL ALMOND DAY!!!

  1. Make a facial mask.  Mix together almond oil, honey and lemon juice.  Apply to your face once a week and you will see a shiny complexion immediately.
  2. How about a facial scrub?  Soak some almonds for a few hours before grinding them.  Mix the paste with a little milk or rose-water for the wonderful exfoliation of dry skin.
  3. Almond oil mixed with almond paste exfoliates dry skin on your lips.  That’s particularly important in the winter time when lips tend to be dry and chapped.  Almond oil contains Vitamins A and E that help increase the production of collagen, which can make the skin look smoother and tighter.  Vitamins B1 and B6 are found in the oil as well. Almond oil can also lighten dark spots on the skin.
  4. Unsweetened almond milk can help you lose weight.
  5. If you eat just a few almonds about 30 minutes before a meal you won’t eat as much.  The protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fat contribute to that fuller feeling
  6. Some nutritionists at cancer treatment centers say they aid in cancer fighting thanks to their vitamin E and other protective nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.
  7. Almonds are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they act to regulate your blood pressure and keep your cholesterol levels in check.
  8. A little dab will do.  One handful is a mere 160 calories and contain a great deal of vitamin E and magnesium.  That quantity is also an excellent source of calcium, iron and potassium.  They also provide 12% of your daily protein allowance.
  9. Because they contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk, they are good at preventing osteoporosis.
  10. Almonds are one of the most heart-healthy foods on the market.  The FDA issued a qualified health claim in 2003 that states

Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fate and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

 Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.  – Hippocrates

How about some Lebanese cookies???

Ghraybeh

1 Cup butter

1 teaspoon orange-blossom water

2 Cups flour

1 Cup chopped almonds

6 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar plus 3/4 to 1 Cup for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix butter and orange-blossom water until smooth.  Combine flour and sugar.  Stir into butter mix until blended.  Stir in nuts.  Roll into 1-inch balls, then shape and curve to make crescent moons.  Place on ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake 10-11 minutes.  When cool, gently roll in confectioners’ sugar.  Dust again with confectioners’ sugar before serving.  Makes 3 dozen.

These are certainly not low-sugar (and I wouldn’t recommend Splenda), so remember portion control if you have high blood sugar.

So grab a handful of almonds – don’t let me stop ya!  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

NATIONAL NUT DAY

TL 10-22 NATIONAL NUT DAY

10-22 GO NUTS

greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.  – Author Unknown

You have my permission to GO NUTS today!  I plan to put some pecans in my oatmeal for breakfast.  For a snack I’ll eat a handful of walnuts and put just a few slivered almonds in my spinach salad for lunch.  I’ll make some cashew chicken for dinner tonight.  Wow, that should make me crazy nuts!

I think we all know that there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.  Chocolate is an example of unhealthy fat, but nuts contain healthy fats and are fine to eat in moderation.

Hmm…  I definitely will try to eat more nuts!  If it would give me a body like hers – oh yeah!   The eating part isn’t the problem – it’s more the working out that I get hung up on – LOL!!!

This is the 4th annual National Nut Day.  It was started in the United Kingdom (do they eat nuts with their afternoon tea?) – This year’s theme is Putting Nuts Back on the Menu.  What is your favorite NUT recipe?  I mentioned chocolate earlier – and it may surprise you to know that even though I like chocolate and I like nuts – I do not like them together!  If I’m eating chocolate, it will be smooth truffles and Cherry Cordial Truffles are my favorite with Mint Truffles running a close second.

For a main dish, I like cashew chicken.  For dessert I would enjoy a small slice of carrot cake.  Here’s my recipe for Cashew Chicken:

The “seasoning mix” in Ramen Noodles has nitrates in it which causes me to get migraine headaches.  I always use a low-sodium chicken stock to avoid migraines.  I freeze the left-over chicken stock in an ice tray.  The chicken stock cubes freeze nicely and melt very quickly, so there’s no waste.

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.  – Jim Davis

As for the carrot cake, since I’m diabetic I don’t make this often at all – just for special occasions:

I substitute SPLENDA for sugar.  Use the same amount.  The cake is not adversely affected by it.  Doesn’t she make it look easy?  It really is!  Give it a try to incorporate some NUTS into your meal plan today!  😉