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
You will probably soon be planting basil and in a few months your garden will be overflowing with the stuff, here is a super easy little recipe that will help you use up all that delicious herb.
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.