Christmas Appetisers

These appetisers are keto-friendly, delicious and so simple to cook. I recommend preparing the olives a couple of days before Christmas so they have time to marinate but the nuts and lemon and thyme nibbles can be prepared on the day.

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Lemon and Thyme Almond Nibbles

These gluten-free nibbles taste great warm and cold. You could also leave them out for Father Christmas…rumour has it, he is actually a fellow biohacker.

Makes between 50-60, depending on cutter size

Approximate nutrition per nibble: 42kcal / 3.6g fat / 0.6g saturated fat / 1g total carbs / 0.5g fibre / 0.5g net carbs / 1.4g protein.

Ingredients:
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed lemon thyme ghee (or plain ghee / butter – extra lemon and thyme will be required)
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 medium eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Fresh thyme
  • Pinch of sea salt
Method:
  1. Combine the ground almonds, zest of 3 lemons, baking soda, sea salt and the leaves from a few sprigs of thyme in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the ghee and add to the almond mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the juice of 1 lemon. Add to the almond mixture.
  4. Place mixture into fridge to firm for about half an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320° F / Gas Mark 3.
  6. Flatten the mixture to roughly between 1 and 1½cm on a sheet of baking parchment. I use my hands as it is rather sticky.
  7. Cut out desired shapes with cutters.
  8. Place a clean sheet of baking parchment onto a baking tray.
  9. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the biscuits and grate some extra zest on top for a more intense lemon flavour. Place into the oven.
  10. Bake for between 20 and 24 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the tray around to ensure an even bake.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

Marinated olives

Ingredients:
  • Plain, mixed green and black olives
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and oregano all work well)
  • A few slices of lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped, optional
Method:
  1. Empty the olives into a bowl, leaving the brine to one side.
  2. Crush the garlic clove and add to the mixed olives along with the lemon slices, herbs and chilli if using. Stir well.
  3. Place back into original jar along with the brine and, when the lid is on, shake gently to ensure the flavours are evenly distributed.
  4. Leave to marinate for a couple of days in the fridge or a cool, dark cupboard.

Lightly toasted nuts with herbs

When I eat nuts, I tend not to cook them but as it’s Christmas, I am happy to deviate slightly from my typical diet to enjoy some nibbles with the rest of the family.

Ingredients:
  • Raw / soaked and sprouted nuts of choice, I used almonds and cashews
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed ghee / butter
  • A few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
Method:
  1. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat.
  2. Add the rosemary and leave to infuse for a few seconds.
  3. Add the nuts. Keep stirring to ensure they don’t catch.
  4. Lightly toast them for a few minutes and serve warm, with a pinch of sea salt.

G.

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