Naturally gluten-free, chewy a crisp exterior, these Vegan Amaretti Cookies are a delicious treat to have with your afternoon coffee, or to pack in a holiday tin, or to simple devour like I tend to.
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Since making my New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier this year, I have significantly cut down on snacking, especially on fried foods or foods that are calorie dense but not necessarily nutrient dense. But I do love snacking and therein lies the problem of how will I curb my cravings for the sweets and carbs that I so love. In this quest to eat healthier, I decided I could not forgo my beloved snacks and therefore started a mission to create my own healthier ones.
Recently I posted the Almond Butter Breakfast Bars recipe to help me get a good start to my day and I’ve realized that I love incorporating almond flour into my recipes. These Almond Cacao Energy Bites are a perfect balance of cacao powder, almond flour, and dates. The cacao powder provides the perfect balance of chocolate and nutrition as it’s filled with antioxidants and magnesium!
The almond flour of course provides protein and a nutty flavor that balances out the sweetness in these bites. The dates also add quite a bit of sweetness to these bites and are known to have a high sugar content but are fairly low on the glycemic index and have a high fiber content. These energy bites are the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth and stay healthy. Try them out for yourself and you will love them just as much as I do.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy these delicious Almond Cacao Energy Bites!
Cheese boards are so delicious, easy to pull together and fun to share with friends, on a date night, or sometimes, even for a simple dinner with some wine! Yes, I have eaten cheese boards for dinner, though it hasn’t happened much lately and I just found out of one my closest friends does the same with her husband! A cheese board for dinner is actually fun!
Building one takes less than 10 minutes and you can make it as fancy or simple as you want.
TYPES OF BOARDS:
There are many different types. One of my favorites that I use is my slate board, but I also have a wooden and a marble one. To build a cheese board for the hubby and me, I use the slate one or the marble one for just myself. When we are hosting a dinner I like to pull out my large wooden one so that there is plenty to go around for everyone. If I have a party, I’ll pull out all three and save the smallest one to create a kid’s cheese board (more to come on that one). There are some cute individual slate boards also if you want to do a social distance cheese board so each person has their own.
Cheese knives are also important and I like this set which also tells you which is to be used for the type of cheese you are serving. A simple set like this one is also handy to have.
Think variety with texture and type of milk. I like to have about 3-4 different cheeses on my board. My favorite is goat cheese, so I will always have that on my boards. This takes care of my soft cheese but if you want a different type of soft cheese, try Camembert, Feta, or Brie.
Move on to the semi-hard cheeses and there are so many options! One of my favorites is a wine soaked cheese that my cousin Sweetu introduced me to. This is available in most grocery stores now so just check out the cheese section and look for one! Some of my other favorite semi-hard cheeses include Gruyere, Manchego, and Gouda. Pick 1 or 2 of these and add them to your cheese board.
Finally, the hard cheeses that are waiting for their turn! Asiago, Parmegiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Cheddar are some of my favorites.
Once you have picked out your cheeses, try spreading them out around the board so that you have space to include other foods.
This is the perfect time to get creative. I always add the basics of crackers or bread and sometimes both. You can also add in some breadsticks if you have. Those always taste good!
Add in some fresh fruit – anything you have on hand. Grapes are a traditional choice you can always bet on. Other options include thinly sliced apples or pears, strawberries and raspberries. Think color when you are adding these to your board as you want it to pop!
A little sweet is always welcome to the board. My favorite go to includes fig marmalade or honey. Pair them with any of the cheeses and it’s sure to become an instant hit!
If you have something sweet, there has to be space for something salty too! I love having some nuts on the board and to add the salty to my crunchy, I include Roasted Chili Almonds.
There will be times when I want some extras. A really good option is roasted garlic (recipe to come soon…check back!) and/or some artisan bread. In the cheese board pictured for this post, I included an artichoke focaccia bread. A little of the roasted garlic butter spread on the focaccia is simply divine!
Don’t stress when you build your board and just have fun. I like to build the board about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Finally, sit back, enjoy your cheese board and have fun!