Take these delicious almond croquettes for example, even the name evokes in me a warm fuzzy feeling. Every time one enters my mouth, I still have that same old familiar first encounter feeling, you know the one that never quite leaves you, the one that is at its most natural. Like first love.
Speaking of natural these croquettes are a world away from the diminutive, bread crumbed, deep-fried, old style versions, full of binders and fillers that loiter in counter-top bain-maries at fast food joints getting drier by the moment.
A brief history lesson into croquettes, from the French verb croquer, "to crunch" and you’ll find that they've been hanging around for centuries, with food historians believing that recipes for croquette-type dishes likely descended from Ancient Roman rissoles. These little football shaped snacks were not built in a day.
Nowadays they are popular in many parts of the world, from an appetizing, spicy, egg-shaped snack in Bangladesh to a patty filled korokke in Japan. It seems no matter where you are you will encounter a croquette or two.
My raw Supercharged version is an extension of the customary variety but instead of a heavy, indigestible potato filler it uses soaked almonds as a base. Why almonds?
Here are five good reasons to include this pint-sized nutritional dynamo in your meals…
1. They’re rich in quality nutrients and help with weight loss
Almonds contain protein, dietary fibre, anti-oxidants and mono-saturated fat and research has shown that people who consume a serving of almonds at least twice a week are less likely to gain weight.
2 . They’re good for the heart
Almonds are high in monounsaturated (“good”) fats, which are the type of fats that reduce unhealthy levels of cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart ailments. All you need is a handful a day to give your heart a healthy boost.
3. They’re good for the skin
Almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights the effects of sun and environmental pollutants and helps you eliminate toxins from your body. A quarter of a cup of almonds contains nearly half of your daily value of Vitamin E.
4. They’re a good source of protein
Did you know that 20 almonds provide just as much protein as a single egg? Protein is an important and necessary component to the development of bones, muscles, skin, and blood and is used by your body to build and repair tissues.
5. They promote healthy gut bacteria
Almond skins are a valuable source of pectin and dietary fiber that can serve as food for healthy gut bacteria. These natural probiotics help maintain a healthy immune system and can improve the symptoms of some digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Now that we have the health side wrapped up let’s get into croquette making!
The fun begins when you vary ingredients so feel free to add your favourites such as shredded kale or spinach and fiddle around with the recipe to make it your own.
- 1 cup almonds (pre-soaked)
- ½ cup cashews (pre-soaked)
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 shallot roughly chopped
- 3 TBS wheat free tamari
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 knob ginger grated fine
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- ¼ cup basil chopped
- 3 TBS cooked brown rice (optional)
- 1 cup almond meal
- Place nut and carrots into a food processor and process for about 20 seconds
- Add shallot, tamari, garlic, ginger, herbs, spices and pulse for a few seconds
- Remove mixture and add brown rice if using then form into balls
- Coat with almond meal
- Serve over a crunchy green salad
Happy eating 🙂