Do you know amlou? This preparation, originating from the south of Morocco, is the ideal ingredient to replace the traditional spread during your breakfasts and snacks. Plus, it has health benefits.
Some people can’t do without good sandwiches for breakfast or a snack. They garnish them with jam, butter, but also spread.
The most famous of them, however, is pointed out: too caloric, too greasy, too rich in palm oil, too harmful for the planet. Fortunately, alternatives exist, starting with amlou. This Berber recipe should perfectly meet your spread needs.
What is amlou and what are its benefits?
Amlou originates from southern Morocco, specifically from the Souss region. Legend says that every Moroccan family has a pot of amlou in their closet… The preparation consists of three key foods: honey, almonds and argan oil. They are mixed and mashed. The texture resembles peanut butter.
Thanks to these ingredients, amlou is a recipe that has many health benefits. Almonds are rich in magnesium and help fight stress. Another advantage: they prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A study conducted in 2015 by researchers from the organization Life Science, in Bethesda, in the United States, states that eating nuts would reduce cholesterol levels, in particular “bad cholesterol”.
The consumption of almonds would be particularly effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. We also learn that nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins or minerals, all of which are beneficial components for blood vessels and arterial function.
Amlou is also beneficial for health thanks to argan oil . Widely used in the beauty industry, this product is also popular in the kitchen. We then speak of edible argan oil. His characteristics ? It contains vitamin E which proves to be an excellent antioxidant. It is also rich in omega 9, particularly recommended for the cardiovascular system and in omega 6. These contain essential fatty acids.
How to consume and store amlou?
You can eat amlou for breakfast or at tea time by spreading it on slices of fresh bread or pancakes. You can also slip it into your desserts or as an icing. Why not simply taste it with a spoon to fully enjoy its flavors? You can buy amlou in store or prepare it yourself. Many recipes are available on the internet. It’s up to you to play with the ingredients and the textures. If you want your amlou to be thicker, then you will have to pour less argan oil. You can customize it by adding hazelnuts or peanuts.
What about conservation? Amlou is easily preserved thanks to argan oil. If you observe a liquid deposit forming above the preparation, it is normal. It will be enough to mix the mixture well as soon as it is opened. Finally, store your amlou in a cool, dry place away from light.
Where to find it and how it’s made
As mentioned, argan trees only grow in Morocco, so the only way to get your hands on authentic amlou is if it’s sourced directly from Morocco. But if a trip overseas and a venture into the markets of the Sous region sounds a bit daunting, there’s really only one brand that’s brought amlou to American supermarket shelves: Argania Butter.
While it’s hard to find in person, it’s certainly worth it for its use of authentic ingredients, including argan oil sourced directly from women’s cooperatives in Morocco (via Specialty Foods).
Thankfully, with the development of blenders and food processors, making amlou at home is easy and much less time-consuming. Simply roast some almonds in the oven, and put them in a blender or food processor with some honey, salt, and of course, argan oil (via My Moorish Plate).
While My Moroccan Food says that traditional amlou is runnier, you can adjust the ratio of ingredients to get the texture and sweetness you prefer. Really, the most difficult part is getting your hands on the argan oil, but it’s truly what makes amlou so special. This is not only because of the rich and nutty flavor it adds but because of the healthy antioxidants and omega fatty acids it contains (via Nourish).