Almond Horns

“You can’t just eat whatever you like and then save yourself with walnuts,” she explained. “Their study shows that walnuts only lower your cholesterol if your diet is low in saturated fat.” These aren’t the ideal words to hear as you tuck into a bowl of creamy gorgonzola risotto, but I guess I had to hear the truth at some stage. Sadly, good fat doesn’t cancel bad fat.

AlmondHorns

Walnuts are topical in research about dietary cholesterol because they contain omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, so long as your diet is low in saturated and trans fats. The omega-6 fats can’t be manufactured by the body, so they have to come from your diet. They’re found in pecans, brazil nuts and pine nuts as well as walnuts.

Other nuts have good fats in them too. Monounsaturated fats are found in hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts. If you look beyond nuts they’re also found in tahini (sesame seeds), avocado, olive oil and canola oil. In short, eating nuts is a convenient way to include good fats in your diet, which can lower your cholesterol.

Unfortunately sprinkling walnuts on your icecream with chocolate sauce won’t cancel out the bad fats with good ones. How disappointing! The idea is to replace your bad fats with good ones, rather than just supplementing them. Nuts instead of bickies for snacks then? It would be a lot more fun to eat nutty bickies, and I think this recipe is low enough in bad fats to allow us to do just that. It’s butterless and full of almonds, but most importantly it tastes like a treat.

Elvis+Bickies

These Greek Almond Biscuits are sweet and fragrant with vanilla. The texture is beautifully chewy at the centre, and you can coat them in flaked almonds for a crunchy exterior if you like. They’re remarkably quick to prepare too, so long as you have a reasonable success rate at separating eggs. What do you do with the yolks? I’ll leave that one up to you. The temptation to turn them into rich chocolate fudge truffles is strong, but this article is meant to be a healthy one!

AlmondHornsClose

Almond Horns (Greek Style Almond Biscuits)
Adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Best Food Desserts

Ingredients
3 cups almond meal
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence (or 1 tsp vanilla bean extract)
3 egg whites, beaten lightly
1 cup flaked almonds (for coating, I often leave these out)

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Spread two biscuit slides with baking paper.
Combine almond meal, caster sugar and vanilla.
Add egg whites and mix to a firm paste.
Roll tablespoons of mixture into logs. If you’re coating in flaked nuts do this next. Then shape the mixture into cresent or horn shapes. The mixture will be a bit sticky, but it shouldn’t stick all over your hands. You can add more almond meal if required.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until starting to brown.

baking

There’s more information about the effect of dietary fats on cholesterol available from the Heart Foundation. Thanks to Kathryn from Limes and Lycopene for pointing out the article to me.

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20 thoughts on “Almond Horns

  1. Oh! Bickies. I didn’t get that at first ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, be that as it may, you can’t deny that good fat benefits or no, the biscuits look delicious ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d probably eat an unhealthy lot in one sitting, hehe.

  2. It is a shame about walnuts coming with a caveat! I’m not a huge fan of them raw and only eat them because I think they are healthy. Never mind, at least your (butterless!) almond crescents are good.

  3. So many hopeful myths with food aren’t there. From what I understand peanuts are less healthy than other nuts so I try and avoid them and I’ve heard that eating nuts raw is better than having them roasted but they taste so much better cooked!

  4. I don’t eat perfectly by any means, but I’ve found the more good fats I eat, the less of the bad stuff I want. Walnuts are a favorite snack of mine. Sometimes I crave them and I think that’s when I have not been eating enough good fats. I wasn’t crazy about them to begin with, but with me, I found the more I ate them raw, the more I enjoyed them. Others in my support group have stated the same.

    Those almond horns are gorgoues. I definitely will be making them!!

    Thanks so much!
    Shirley

  5. Thank goodness most nuts are considered healthy, because I love them (although I think even good fat can be bad, if you eat too much). I haven’t made biscuits like those in awhile, but love eating them ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. We make these with honey and they really are delicious! They’re lovely with a touch of cardamom or orange flower water too.

    I just wanted to mention something about good fats – it’s really important to get a balance between omega 6 and 3, because most people eat too much 6 and not enough 3. Omega 6 is available from lots of sources, vegetable oil, eggs, poultry and grains for example. But omega 3 is rich in foods like nuts, free range (grass fed) meat, and oily fish – foods that not enough people consume regularly. Therefore it is important to eat nuts, free range meat and oily fish, but for your omega 3 not 6.

    This said, I think it’s vegetables that keep your heart really healthy non? x x x

  7. I love those particular biscuits, they are so lovely. However, despite their good qualities, I always make them really unhealthy by coating them in a nice thick layer of icing sugar. Yum!

    I think I should eat more walnuts though, my health does need a checkup.

  8. These look and sound awesome. So they are still chewy in the middle ? I have a thing for biccies which are a bit soft and chewy, like Subway cookies.

  9. This biscuits look delicous perfect with a cup of tea~

    Thanks for sharing your biscuits recipe:)

    And you can visit me if I can visit you:)

    Welcome~~~
    foodcreate.com

  10. Ooooh, these look delish! A bit like a nut version of coconut macaroons. Ground nuts and sugar work so well together – that creamy chewiness is so great, especially with a cuppa ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s a grain free bakery called Deeks in Canberra that does nice nut biscuits that I’m quite partial to, but I might make a stockpile of these and save money!

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