Recipe: Lucy Jones’ healthy almond and kale crisps
February – Heart Month – seems like a good time to remember that 80% of deaths from heart disease could be avoided with simple diet and lifestyle changes. Dietitian and California Almonds ambassador Lucy Jones recommends showing your body some love by rebalancing your snack plans and opting for a daily handful (28g) of crunchy almonds.
We know reducing belly fat and lowering cholesterol are lifestyle factors to improve cardiovascular health and a study has found those who snacked on a handful of almonds (as opposed to a high-carb snack with equivalent calories), experienced reduced belly fat and reduced waist circumference.
Lucy says: ‘As well as snacking on almonds, up your fibre intake by eating wholegrains, pulses and brown rice. Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and bowel cancer.’
120g whole natural almonds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of sea salt
Put the almonds to one side. Preheat the oven to 140°C, fan oven 120°C, Gas Mark 1. Lightly oil 2-3 baking sheets.
Trim and discard the central stem from the kale leaves. Tear or cut the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil, then use your fingers to gently ‘massage’ the oil into each leaf so that they are very lightly coated. Spread them out onto the baking sheets so that they’re not too crowded. Now bake for about 1 hour to dry them out, turning once, and opening the oven door occasionally to let the steam escape. When they are crisp, remove and leave until completely cold.
Mix gently with the almonds and serve, sprinkled with sea salt.
TIP: If you wash the kale first, you must make sure that it’s completely dry before you add the oil. You need slow, gentle heat to dry out the kale leaves – anything too hot will roast and burn them!