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A while back I was waiting at the drug store to get a prescription filled, and I was so hungry I couldn’t wait to get home to eat. I started looking for a snack that was dairy and soy free and checked out the nut mixes, thinking that I could find something safe there. Unfortunately dairy and soy ingredients can be hidden in nut mixes just as much as anything else, but I found this amazing almond mix from Sahale Snacks and was immediately hooked. They became a treat for me that I would look for when we stopped for snacks on road trips. I still have a hard time not picking up a bag when I see them at the store.

They became even more of a treat when I found out that I had gestational diabetes during my second pregnancy. I had a really hard time tolerating most carbs and was finding it difficult to find foods that I could have. Snacks were difficult, as many of my go-to favorites we things like crackers, pretzels, and fruit – all things that caused my blood sugar to spike. I tried eating nuts and they worked well to keep my blood sugar down, but it was hard for me to stomach them unseasoned.

I remembered the mix from Sahale snacks, and could not wait to try it. I figured that the sweet glaze and dried cranberries would elevate my sugars a little, but that the almonds would make a nice treat every once and a while. To my surprise, my blood sugar stayed low after having one serving. I was actually able to indulge in the delicious almonds without ever having trouble with my blood sugar. The protein, fat, and fiber seemed to be enough for me to balance the small amount of sugar in the glaze and cranberries.

For the next several weeks, these became somewhat of a staple in my diet as they worked for a healthy snack and a dessert. I even had a bag set aside to for my hospital bag for when Handsome Man made his arrival. The only problem for me was the cost. Believe me, they were worth every penny, but the cost of prepared nut mixes is pretty steep and started to add up. I decided that I needed to find a way to make something similar myself.

I expected it to be complex and difficult to make something that was anywhere near as good as the prepackaged version, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe is. In just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients, you can have a homemade, healthy, delicious snack. I think I will make a double or triple batch on the weekends to eat as a snack throughout the week. I love having a healthy snack that I actually look forward to and crave!

 

 

Honey Glazed Almonds with Cranberries and Sea Salt

DSCN88211 cup raw almonds

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

½ tsp sea salt

 

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. While almonds are toasting, prepare other ingredients so that you can work quickly. Combine the honey, sugar, and vanilla in a small dish.
  4. Once the almonds are toasted, add the honey mixture, cranberries, and sesame seeds and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until everything is well coated.
  5. Quickly pour the mixture onto the lined backing sheet and spread it into a single layer. Immediately sprinkle the almonds with an even coating of the salt.
  6. Allow to set for at least 10 minutes. Break up any big chunks and store in an air tight container.

I think these would keep just fine for about a week, but honestly they never last that long at my house!

So the next question – how do they measure up in terms of nutritional content? Based on my calculations, here is the nutritional content per ¼ cup serving:

Calories: 183

Fat: 12.5 g

Carbs: 15.4 g

Fiber: 3.4 g

Protein: 5.3 g

 

For me, this was perfect. With gestational diabetes, my snacks were supposed to be somewhere in the 15 carb range, but for these I could actually do more than a single serving because of all of the fat, fiber, and protein. If you are looking for a lower carb snack, give these a try!

 

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