We all love a biscuit with a cup of tea or coffee, but let’s face it, most biscuits are full of refined flours, bad fats and lots of sugar which cause cravings, unsettle energy levels, clog our arteries and add pounds to our waistlines. Our WaistWatchers classes started again last week, and I decided to dream up a recipe for a healthy alternative that still delivers that biscuity joy without the added helping of guilt afterwards. These almond and vanilla biscuits are a doddle to make, but best of all they are seriously nutrient dense while also being sugar free. Eggs deliver top-quality protein, ground almonds provide protein, fibre, vitamin E, folate, zinc, magnesium and calcium, and coconut oil is a super-healthy anti-inflammatory fat rich in lauric acid, known to have anti-viral, anti-bacteria and anti-fungal properties. The sweetness in the biscuits comes from the natural sweetener, xylitol, which is kind to teeth and blood sugar levels. All in all, a delicious, healthy and satisfying snack to keep you on an even keel until your next meal.
Almond and vanilla biscuits – makes about 16
250g ground almonds
1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3-5 tbsp xylitol, depending on how sweet you like them
2 large eggs
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 175oC. Line a baking sheet (or two, depending on its size) with greaseproof paper.
Put the ground almonds, xylitol, salt and bicarb of soda into a food processor and pulse to combine. Crack in the two eggs, pour in the coconut oil and vanilla extract and mix until combined – you will end up with a sticky biscuit dough.
Scoop dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, shaping with your fingers and pressing down to form a chunky biscuit shape – you may need to wet your fingers slightly to stop them sticking to the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly golden and quite firm to the touch – these biscuits won’t go more than lightly golden as the xylitol doesn’t really colour.
When cool enough to touch, transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool for half an hour. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
NB: You can make these without a processor by combining the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mixing the wet into the dry to form a dough.
Written by Emma Rushe