This recipe is a healthier alternative to many packaged snack foods which often contain unhealthy fats and are high in sugar. The ingredients may help to lower cholesterol and benefit heart health.
- DF Dairy free
- VG Vegetarian
- HH Heart-healthy
- Prep time 10 mins
- Cook Time 30 mins
- Serves 15
- Difficulty medium
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a slice tin with baking paper.
- In a small food processor or grinder, grind rice bran cereal into a flour.
- Place almonds in food processor, process until about half of the almonds are ground to a meal & remainder are roughly chopped.
- Mix all dry ingredients with sultanas in bowl.
- Add oil, honey, eggs and vanilla, stir until combined.
- Flatten and smooth into slice tin, and bake for 25 minutes until golden.
By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella
This recipe uses macadamia oil which is rich in the healthy monounsaturated fats. It also stars many ingredients that Canadian researchers have shown in a "portfolio diet" of soluble fibre (oats, barley and psyllium), soy protein, plant sterols and almonds can effectively lower LDL cholesterol.
Psyllium is a soluble fibre known to lower cholesterol- but many people are averse to the chaff-like taste – this recipe uses the psyllium as part of the "flour". Oats, rice bran and psyllium are sources of dietary fibre which lower cholesterol by reducing the absorption of bile in the intestines and increasing its excretion (in our poo). Then the liver has to make up for this loss of bile and it uses cholesterol to make more bile salts. The dietary fibre found in oats and psyllium responsible for lowering cholesterol is β-glucan,
Plant sterols decrease blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol by decreasing the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Dietary sources include vegetable oils (especially unrefined oils), nuts, seeds and grains.
The amount we obtain from the diet is not enough to significantly lower cholesterol, but the almonds and pepitas provide a source of these plant sterols.
Almonds are thought to lower cholesterol, not only because of plant sterols, but by a range of mechanisms.
And what about the eggs and cholesterol? The Heart Foundation says that eating up to 6 eggs per week will not increase the risk of heart disease.