DAY 7: Slow Roasted Spiced Almonds
Not a cookie, but perfect for Christmas snacking when you need something savory to counterbalance all of the sugar. These also make a great gift for friends and neighbors.
Slow Roasted Spiced Almonds
¼ cup coconut oil or butter
4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Sriracha
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground mustard
9 cups (3 lb) whole raw almonds
Preheat oven to 250°F.
In a Pyrex measuring cup, melt coconut oil or butter in the microwave. Stir in seasonings. Place almonds in a large mixing bowl and pour seasoning mixture over the nuts. Stir with a rubber spatula until nuts are well coated.
Spread nuts in a single layer on a very large baking sheet (or use 2 medium baking sheets). Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Taste nuts and sprinkle with additional sea salt (½ – 1 tsp), to taste. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 9 cups
NOTE: Almonds can also be roasted at 350°F for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.
It is peach season here in northern Maryland. I have visited two orchards in the past week and I am making my way through a bushel of fresh-picked peaches. Some have made their way into jams, peach butter, frozen peach yogurt, and lots of fresh peach juice running down chins.
Even after all of this canning, I still have more peaches than we can eat our way through before they go bad. So the remaining peaches are going into the freezer to be pulled out all winter when we need a little reminder of summer.
This is a super simple method for freezing peaches: no blanching, no peeling, no slicing. And I like them so much better than canned peaches.
All you need are two ingredients: fresh peaches and Fruit Fresh (a fruit preservative, mostly consisting of ascorbic acid).
To prepare peaches for freezing: wash peaches, cut in half and remove pit, place cut side up on a foil-lined tray, sprinkle with Fruit Fresh, turn cut side down, and place in freezer. When peach halves are solid, place in Ziploc bags and return to the freezer.
The kids’ favorite thing about these frozen peaches comes when you are ready to eat one. You can remove as few or as many peach halves as you want from the freezer. Place the peach half on a plate or in a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds, or until no longer solid (You can also leave them in the fridge or at room temperature until thawed). To remove the peel, simply pinch the center of the peel and lift- the peel slides off in one perfect piece! So much easier than trying to peel the peaches before freezing!
I enlisted a much cuter hand model to help with this demonstration.
Freezing Fresh Peaches
Fresh ripe peaches
Fruit Fresh (fruit preservative)
- Wash peaches and cut in half.
- Remove pit, but do not peel peaches.
- Place peach halves cut side up on a foil-lined tray.
- Sprinkle cut side with Fruit Fresh.
- Turn peaches cut side down, and place tray in freezer.
- After peaches have frozen solid, place them in a Ziploc bag and return to freezer.
- When ready to use, microwave peaches for about 20 seconds and the skin will easily slide off.
Chorizo sausage, fresh mozzarella pearls, spicy marinara: all stuffed into an eggplant shell and topped with melted Parmesan. Perfect on its own, or served with a side of pasta.
Be sure to use medium sized eggplant. The skin on large eggplant is too thick to eat unless cooked for much longer than this recipe.
I love chorizo sausage in this, but you could also use a mild or spicy Italian sausage. I also use a spicy marinara sauce (like Arrabiata), but you can use whatever your family prefers.
Chorizo Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
3 medium eggplant (do NOT use large eggplant)
2 cups marinara sauce (I use a spicy variety, like Arrabiata)
Olive oil cooking spray
salt & pepper
1 lb chorizo sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
8 oz fresh mini mozzarella pearls (or ½” cubes)
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to hollow out centers of eggplant halves (don’t discard eggplant insides). Spread about 1 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish. Place eggplant halves in the baking pan. Spray the eggplant halves with olive oil cooking spray (or brush lightly with olive oil) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop eggplant insides and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high heat until browned; drain grease (place chorizo in a paper towel lined bowl to remove excess grease). Return chorizo to the skillet with the chopped eggplant, onion, and garlic. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook until eggplant is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Add the mozzarella pearls to the sausage mixture in the skillet and stir gently. Quickly (before the cheese melts) spoon mixture evenly into the 6 eggplant halves. Top the filled eggplant boats with remaining marinara sauce.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
A light, refreshing sugar-free dessert perfect for summer evenings. You can use any fresh berry (raspberry, strawberry, blackberry). It is sugar free, low-carb, and keto friendly.
Sugar-Free Blackberry Cheesecake Mousse
12 oz fresh blackberries (about 2 cups)**
¼ cup water
¼ cup granulated low carb sweetener (I used erythritol)
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup powdered low carb sweetener (I used a monkfruit/erythritol blend)
¼ tsp liquid stevia
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
Additional fresh blackberries for garnish
Combine blackberries, water, and granulated sweetener in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, crushing blackberries with a potato masher or spoon. Strain blackberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing with a spoon to strain all of the pulp. Set strained mixture aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sweetener, stevia, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in cooled blackberry mixture. Taste and add additional sweetener, if needed.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the blackberry mixture.
Spoon mousse into 8 small ramekins and refrigerate until slightly firm (1-2 hours). Garnish with fresh blackberries, if desired.
NOTE: you can also use other berries like raspberries or strawberries.