Have you tried 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies? They are all the rage, especially for those who are avoiding grains. But the typical recipe has a lot of sugar. And I prefer not to use peanut butter (I’ll explain later). I’ve come up with a great solution that uses coconut sugar or maple syrup, and almond butter to make delicious 3 ingredient almond butter cookies.
Why I Don’t Use Peanut Butter in My 3 Ingredient Cookies
I like peanut butter. I think it’s pretty yummy. But, there are a few reasons that I prefer to avoid it and use almond butter instead:
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- I don’t feel well after eating peanut butter, even if it’s organic.
- Peanuts are almost always high in mold, which is probably why #1 is true for me. Even after harvesting and drying, the mold continues to grow.
- This mold produces a toxin called aflatoxin which is a known carcinogen and can cause liver disease – here’s a great article with references.
If you still prefer to use peanut butter, be sure that it’s made from Valencia peanuts (like this brand) which are grown in dry regions and are not as susceptible to mold.
Note that roasting alone is not a completely sufficient method of eliminating aflatoxins, although it can work to reduce the toxic effects. Unfortunately, if all of the mold is not eliminated, it can regrow while in storage. See rutgers-lib-48213_PDF-1.
What About Almond Butter? Is It Safe?
Unlike peanuts, almonds are not legumes and are grown on trees, not in the ground, and so are not as susceptible to mold.
But that doesn’t mean that almonds are without their issues.
The main problem with almonds is in how they are processed. With a few exceptions, it is now required by law in the U.S. that almonds be pasteurized. This is accomplished by either steam heating them to 200°F, or by using propylene oxide gas. If your almond butter is not organic, it is most likely that the almonds have been pasteurized with gas.
The other issue is that almonds, like all nuts, can be difficult to digest because they contain phytic acid. Soaking and sprouting the nuts neutralizes the phytates making them much easier to digest. That’s why I prefer to use sprouted almond butter in my 3 ingredient almond butter cookies.
Sprouted almond butter is not easy to find in the grocery store but can be found here. Dastony almond butter is organic, the almonds are grown in the U.S. and are not pasteurized, and it is sprouted for easier digestibility.
Dastony is able to purchase their almonds unpasteurized under the exception that states that farmers can sell untreated raw almonds, in maximum lot sizes of 100 pounds, directly to consumers from their farmsteads or at a farmers market.
Sprouted almond butter can be quite runny, but using coconut sugar in the recipe will give the cookie dough a perfect consistency. If you choose to use a thicker almond butter, use maple syrup as your sweetener.
Why I Don’t Use Honey in My 3 Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies
Raw honey is amazing and I want to keep it that way; that’s why I don’t cook with it. Keeping honey unheated and unpasteurized helps to assure that the beneficial enzymes and other heat sensitive nutrients are kept intact. Here are 20 recipes that use raw honey (and keep it that way).
Instead, for recipes that are baked, I prefer to use coconut sugar or maple syrup. For this recipe, choose your sweetener based on the consistency of your almond butter. The sprouted almond butter I use is runny, so the coconut sugar is the best choice. If you are using a drier almond butter, use maple syrup to sweeten your 3 ingredient almond butter cookies.
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