Have you ever bought cocoa almonds? I got addicted to them a few years ago, and instantly thought how easy they would be to make at home. I’ve gone through a lot of almonds and cocoa powder trying different ways to make them, and this is by far my favorite. I skillet roast them in a little bit of coconut oil, then drain and dust them with a mixture of cocoa powder and powdered sugar. My four guys can go through a bowl of these in no time, which is fine with me because this is a delicious and healthy snack.
Almonds are good for you, in fact they are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. They are high in monounsaturated fats, which lowers LDL cholesterol levels, and they are high in beneficial magnesium and potassium. And they give a little protein boost. Coconut oil is a healthy oil with medium-chain fatty acids, though there is still much research to be done on the total health picture for coconut oils. I like that it has a high smoke point and subtly flavors the almonds. The cocoa powder is naturally sugar free, and you can control the amount of sugar in the recipe. My guys like an equal ratio of cocoa powder to sugar, and I prefer a little less sugar, so I can make batches for everyone. I’ve also done it with a little sea salt for extra flavor.
For a party, you can make larger amounts a week or two ahead of time and store them in tightly closed jars. These almonds almost make nice little hostess gifts for the holidays, just put them in a cute jar with a ribbon.
To make sure I use as little oil as necessary, I prepare the nuts in a nonstick pan. I use the Cuisinart GreenGourmet nonstick skillets (not sponsored) in my kitchen because they work well and are PTFE and PFOA free, and they are a snap to clean.
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Warm the skillet over medium heat and melt the coconut oil in the pan. Sauté the almonds in the coconut oil for about 1 to 2 minutes, until warm. Strain the almonds and transfer to a medium bowl. Sift the cocoa powder and sugar together, then sift again over the almonds, tossing and stirring until the nuts are completely coated. Allow to cool and serve. Will keep in a tightly closed jar for a week or two.
You can reduce the amount of sugar to your taste.