Dried Argan Nuts
In addition to having amazing cosmetic properties, argan oil is used in a variety of Moroccan recipes in its culinary form, where the argan nuts are roasted before the oil is extracted, as opposed to the cold-pressed method used to extract the cosmetic version. Amlou, a thin, nutty spread which tastes a bit like peanut butter, is often served at breakfast with bread for dipping and is said to be an aphrodisiac.Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants and it is great for digestion.It also contains rare phytosterols, which help block cholesterol absorption.Below is a recipe adapted from Christine Benlafquih’s Moroccan food blog on About.com.
Yields about 2 cups.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
· 1 1/2 cups of almonds
· 3/4 cup argan oil (less if you desire a thicker consistency)
· 3 to 4 tablespoons warm honey
· 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Roast almonds (spread out evenly on a baking pan) for about 10 minutes or until a bit crunchy.
2) Allow the almonds to cool a bit, and then pass them through a meat grinder twice or grind in a food processor at high speed to make a powdery paste.
3) Stir the argan oil into the almonds, about a tablespoon at a time, stirring quickly by hand or with the food processor on the lowest speed.
4) Gradually add the warm honey, sugar and salt in the same manner.Add more sugar if a sweeter amlou is desired.
Serve in a dish with bread for dipping.
Amlou will keep in a glass jar for a couple of months if stored at room temperature. Shake or stir before serving, should separation occur.