Friday, October 7, 2011

Cinnamon-Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

I wish I had a more clever name for it, but honestly, the name doesn't matter.  What matters is that you make this the next time you have a dozen beautiful Honeycrisp apples, waiting to be eaten.  Or even one Honeycrisp apple.

I feel silly even sharing this as though it's some sort of "recipe".  But, because I care about you and because I cannot guarantee you have ever made this before, I am posting it.

Oh, and you should know, it's not JUST a dip for apples.  I mix a tablespoon or two into my oatmeal in the morning, along with some chopped fruit, some pumpkin puree or a scoop of protein powder.  I always like to include some fat (preferably plant/nut-based) in my breakfast to get my metabolism going.  I think breakfast should include protein, carbs AND fat.  Well actually, any time you eat you should try to include at least two of those three energy-sources, not just at breakfast.  It will keep you full and your body satisfied, since fat and protein help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates.  And, since it contains cinnamon, it facilitates the insulin response which can be helpful for Type-2 Diabetics to maintain normal blood sugar.

It's also wicked-good drizzled onto a Morning Glory Oat Muffin or a slice of banana bread.  Or mixed into a protein shake after a workout (1 scoop vanilla protein powder + 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon-Almond Butter Dip + ice cubes + water.  Blend.  Revitalize.)  

Cinnamon-Almond Butter Dip
recipe inspiration from Oh She Glows

1 part almond butter*
1 part almond milk
sprinkling of cinnamon, to taste (the amount depends on personal preference, I like a LOT)
dash of sweetener** (optional, to taste)

Add almond butter and almond milk to a bowl, stir together until homogenous.  You may have to "mash" the almond butter with the back of the spoon to help it blend into the almond milk.  Add cinnamon and sweetener, if using.  Add a little more almond butter or almond milk until you have reached your desired consistency, I prefer mine thin enough to drizzle over apple slices.

Store unused cinnamon almond butter dip in the refrigerator.

*I usually use creamy, all-natural almond butter from Trader Joe's.  It is the version made from roasted, unsalted almonds and without any added sugar.  Literally, the singular ingredient is "roasted, unsalted almonds."  This time around all I had was raw almond butter (from TJ's), which I don't like as much in general, but I thought it tasted great in this application.  Again, I always stay away from almond butters with salt and sugar added.  You could substitute any kind of nut butter you like.

**Sweetener is optional and I have found that agave nectar, maple syrup and honey all work really well, as they can easily be incorporated into the almond butter/almond milk mixture.  Splenda also works well.  I would not recommend using granulated sugar, as it will not dissolve, but powdered sugar would probably be fine.  You probably won't need sweetener if you use a nut butter that has sugar added.

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