Happy New Year!
It’s 2020 and in addition to almond cookies, 😃 we have so much to be thankful for. 2019 brought some ups and downs, as life does, but I feel like we reached the end of the year on a high note. As far as I know, we’re all pretty healthy and happy. We have work we enjoy, a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and good friends and family around us. Yes, that’s a lot to be grateful for.
Our eldest son, Michael, is doing well in school, he’s focussed on building his multimedia portfolio, and he’s in a relationship with a really nice girl, so we’re thrilled for him. Even his little bro approves. 😃
Our little guy has grown so much. We’re so proud of him. He’s our little comedian and he makes us laugh on a regular basis. He’s enjoying video animation and coding and he’s got a new interest in rocket science. We love seeing him explore new interests and teach us old folks new things.
Yup, we love our boys so much!
2020 will be awesome!
Liz and I have been busy at work in our 9-5s. Some days are hectic, but we feel like we’re contributing to amazing projects and to the organizations we work for. Personally, I feel like 2020 will be the highlight of my working career. I’m a little scared of the workload that lies ahead, but it’s an exciting project, so I’m very excited at the same time.
In 2020 our little blog will turn 5 years old. 🥳 We have over 300 recipes and we’ll soon hit 1 million page views! I feel like we’ve found our posting groove and style. I’ve picked up some new skills in the kitchen and I think I’ve become a better home cook. Liz has definitely grown as a food photographer. I’m so incredibly proud of her work.
We get frustrated occasionally while blogging; sometimes it’s about timing, or a difference of opinion on the creative side, but one thing’s for sure, I love our blogging duo and I couldn’t have a better partner to share this hobby with (cue the brownie points Liz? 😘).
Here’s to good health!
On February 4th of 2019 I found out I had type 2 diabetes. That was a weird day for me. I wasn’t sure how to process the information when my doctor shared the news with me. I was confused, but not entirely surprised. Diabetes runs in my family, and I had spent most of my life eating poorly and not doing much physical activity.
I’m grateful that I’ve had the strength and commitment to turn things around. Hearing that you have a chronic disease that could make you blind, require amputations or even lead to death, puts things into perspective.
Some moments are difficult
I’ve had difficult moments where it really sank in that this is permanent and I’ll never again have the luxury of indulging in so many of the foods I used to love. The holidays were especially difficult. But then I remember that the kitchen is a canvas and there are so many ingredients and learning resources out there. I can challenge myself and keep meals and snacks interesting, delicious, and good for me.
If you’re reading this story and are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, please believe that with effort and the right support it’s something that can get easier to live with. Keep learning, keep things interesting in the kitchen, join Facebook support groups, speak to a professional, and most importantly surround yourself with people who’ll support you.
A few months after my diagnosis, Michael said something that stuck with me. I’d lost some weight, I was enjoying bike riding, and I’d gone down a size and could now shop at more stores. He said “Dad, maybe diabetes is the best thing that’s ever happened to you”. It sounds weird but it’s so true. At the rate I was going with my old eating habits and sedentary lifestyle, it could have been a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen. My type 2 diabetes is something I can control, so as much as this sounds weird to say, I feel kind of lucky.
How about a healthy almond cookies to start off your 2020
Speaking of healthy, today we’re sharing our recipe for almond cookies. These almond cookies are made with almond flour and a monk fruit erythritol sugar blend.
As always, if you’re a diabetic, I recommend that you monitor your blood sugar when introducing new foods. Our bodies all work differently. I don’t experience any spikes in my blood-sugar levels when I eat these cookies, so they’re fine for me. It’s another healthy dessert that I’m adding to the list of treats I can have safely.
They’re crispy. Really!
Yup, you heard me correctly.
If you’ve ever baked or eaten cookies with almond flour, you may have noticed that they tend to crisp up less than cookies made with all purpose flour. I tried, and tweaked, this almond cookie recipe a few times until I got the exact constancy I was looking for. The main changes this time around were that I only used one egg, and I baked the cookies longer but at a lower temperature.
Most cookies are baked at 350 ºF. I baked these at 310 ºF. Also, once the cookies come out, I let them cool for longer than normal before eating them or storing them. I found that after 30 minutes, they had the perfect crunch I was looking for.
2020 is going to be awesome!
I’m excited about this year. Maybe it’s that new year feeling, but I’m going to ride this positive wave. I plan to create wonderful new memories with our family and friends, to focus on health and well-being, to grow our blog and grow in my professional career, and as always, to keep eating well.
From our home to yours, Liz and I wish you a yummy new year. Cheers!
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened but not hot
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup monk fruit erythritol blend sweetner
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
- 1 large egg room temperature
Preheat the oven to 310 ºF.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients with a strong spatula.
Knead the cookie dough with the palm of your hand for a couple of minutes until the ingredients are well incorporated.
Scoop large teaspoon portions onto the baking sheet (I like to use a small ice cream or cookie scoop to make them faster and consistent).
Leave about an inch and a half of space between each ball of dough.
Place a small piece of parchment paper on the first dough ball and press with a flat surface (like the bottom of a glass) until the dough is flattened and about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Repeat the last step until all the balls of dough are flattened.
Bake for 17 to 18 minutes and remove from oven.
Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Let the cookies cool on the rack for at least 20 minutes. The longer they cool, the crispier they’ll get.
Finish baking the remaining cookies.
Place the cooled cookies in an airtight jar or tin. They’ll last for about a week… although I never let that happen.
You can use a mixer if you like, but it’s quite easy to knead for a couple of minutes with your hand and there’s less to clean.
These cookies were baked at a lower temperature so that we could bake them longer. This process helps make them crispier.
It’s important to let the cookies cool for quite a while for a crispier consistancy.