Almonds may be one of the most versatile and delicious superfoods around. In fact, they are so good it is possible you have just regarded this cat-eyed beauty as a nice little snack, a topping for a sundae or a key ingredient in your favorite chocolate bar. But the fact is they have a multitude of uses, and come in various forms; right out of the shell, roasted, ground into gluten free flour, made into almond milk, or harvested for their delicate and flavourful oil.
In addition, a small handful of almonds may help to keep your cholesterol in check. Just 1 ounce, about 23 almonds, contains 8.8 g monounsaturated fats and 3.4 g of polyunsaturated fats as well as only 1 g of saturated fat and 3.5 g of fibre. They are also rich in alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, the anti-oxidant that helps reduce free radicals, and an ounce provides you with 6g of protein.
All this and they’re cholesterol free! So eating an ounce a day will help to keep the heart doctor away.
Maybe you’re not the type to walk around munching a handful of nuts, no problem, this little gem can be worked into your diet in a variety of delicious ways. Here are a few of our favourite ways to get your nut on;
Whole and natural; perfect for snacking
Blanched and or roasted, sliced, slivered or chopped, they are great as a topping for salads, desserts or a crunchy coating for meats and seafood
Ground into flour makes a great thickener for sauces or coating for fried foods, or used instead of wheat flour for gluten free baked goods
Almond butter is a nice change from peanut butter, either in a sandwich or cookies
Almond oil is a tasty alternative to vegetable oils for your salad dressings, and can be drizzled into a vegan soup instead of butter.
Almond milk is also a great way to get your daily dose, either on your cereal, smoothies and shakes, or my favourite, tipped right out of the carton
Basil Pesto Almonds
2 egg whites
¼ c packed whole basil leaves
2 cups whole almonds
¼ c fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 225 F.
Combine egg whites and basil in blender, process until smooth.
Toss egg-white basil mix with almonds and drain excess in a colander.
Stir together cheese, salt and garlic powder, add drained almonds and toss to coat.
Spread almond mix in a single layer on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 1 hour, gently stirring every 15 min.
Cool completely and store in airtight container.