Simple Snack: Sprouted & Roasted Olive Oil Almonds

Sprouted & Roasted Olive Oil Almonds

If you've never had a sprouted almond, you are in for a treat even before you turn your oven on for this recipe.  Take dry, raw almonds, cover with twice as much water as you have almonds, and let it soak for four hours or overnight.  The almonds will go from being slightly chewy and wrinkled, and grow to almost twice their size:  moist, crisp and immensely satisfying to eat.

You can stop there, refrigerate your almonds, and snack on them until they are gone.

Or… You can add 4 cups of fresh, cold water for every cup of sprouted almonds, spin them in your blender, strain the almonds, and with a little effort, you have yourself a liter of almond milk, plus almond meat that you can sprinkle over salads, put in bread, use in muffins or as a meat substitute.  This almond milk has none of the preservatives or additives you'll get in your liter of store-bought almond milk, and you'll be patting yourself on the back about how easy it is.  It's a revelation.  And so delicious.

But then, you can take these almonds one step further, and you really should.  The thing is: when you combine plump, crisp sprouted almonds with a little olive oil, a little salt and a hot oven, you arrive at a flavor that is unbelievable addictive.

When I first made these, using local Sicilian olive oil and almonds,  at a Yoga & Food Retreat near Scopello, Sicily this summer, one of the yogis asked: "what kind of magic did you use on these?", as the entire bowl disappeared into mouths around the table.

These are perfect as an appetizer, a little snack, sprinkled over morning oatmeal, or yogurt, or on top of salad.  You won't be able to keep a batch around for long because nobody can keep their hands off of them, but it doesn't matter.  They are so easy to make that you can just get another batch rolling and your back in business in no time.

Up close & personal

Sprouted & Roasted Olive Oil Almonds

1 cup of raw almonds
2 cups of water
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

Soak the raw almonds in the water for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

Drain the water and return the almonds to a bowl.  Add the olive oil and salt and toss to combine.  Spread the almonds in an even layer across a parchment covered baking pan.  Bake 15-20 minutes until the almonds are fragrant and roasted.  You can pull one out and cut it in half to check:  you want the internal color to be a light golden brown and the outside to have darkened slightly.  Allow the almonds to cool for 5 minutes or so before serving as they'll be crisper when cooled.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Option:  add minced fresh rosemary into the mix - the fragrance and flavor are lovely.

Makes 1 heaping cup/ 250ml.

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