Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

an almond tree

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.

almond milk

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

Ingredients:

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

 

Method:

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.

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