Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Meet Whole Foods: Almonds!

Almonds are probably already familiar to most of us, but hopefully in this post you will learn something new about them. So without further ado I introduce to you in their raw and wholesome glory,


Or if you prefer, you can also find them slivered or sliced, respectively.

Right now our garden has lots of fruit trees but one thing we don't have is a nut tree. We're still doing the research, but we are leaning very heavily toward planting an almond tree as long as we can find a hardy variety that will survive the cold winters. So I'm excited today to share with you the health benefits of almonds.

What are Almonds?
According to Wikipedia, the fruit that grows on an almond tree is not a nut, but actually a drupe because it contains an outer hull with an inner, edible seed. I, however, am content to think of almonds as nuts and will continue to do so for the time being. If you object, then that's fine with me. You can think of them as drupes...

How do I use them?
My favorite way to eat almonds is raw. I buy unsalted, unflavored, raw almonds and they are the perfect snack in my estimation. They satisfy hunger cravings that happen right in the middle of the afternoon when you are dying to eat a candy bar. They are perfect snacks for kids, hiking food, midnight snacks (you get the idea). You can also roast almonds, grind them into flour (by pulsing a blender or food processor), or you can sprout whole, raw almonds. Slivered or sliced almonds are great on salads, a top a pizza, or in desserts. You can also use almonds to make almond milk or almond butter. Because of their fat content, almonds can go rancid quickly. For best storage, almonds should be stored in a cool dry place. We keep ours in the freezer, and they store well for up to a year.

How healthy are they?
Almonds are high in the good kind of fats that your body needs - monounsaturated fats. They are also high in Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Potassium. Because of these properties that almonds have, eating them has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and help promote cardiovascular health. There have been studies done that show that eating almonds or other nuts has helped people lose weight or has lowered their risk of weight gain. Almonds are also high in protein, making them a good source for energy.

Where can I buy them?
Raw almonds are sold in most grocery stores and in health food stores or you can buy them online. Make sure you read the package to ensure they don't have added salts, oils and sugars.

Got a Recipe?
This week I'll be sharing some recipes that use almonds. If you have a favorite recipe, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you.

Almond Recipes:
Toasty Banana Nut Muffins
Roasted Almond Spinach Salad
Granola Bars
How to Roast Raw or Slivered Almonds
Hawaiian Pizza with Roasted Almonds
Broiled Almond-Crusted Tilapia

Information from this post came from: and

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