Almonds 101

OK, time to have your mind blown…

An almond is not a nut. It’s a drupe – like a coconut. A drupe is a fruit that has an outer fleshy part that surrounds a pit (or stone), with a seed inside this pit. Typical drupes (also known as stone fruits) include olives, peaches, plums, cherries pistachios, coffee, and dates. True nuts are hard-shelled pods that have a plant’s seed and fruit within a single hard casing. Examples of nuts are chestnuts, hazelnuts, and acorns.

However, these distinctions are botanical, not culinary. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, we’ll refer to almonds as ‘nuts’ , as this is the typical custom in English. (The word ‘nut’ is tricky to translate into other languages for this reason).

Regardless of botanical distinctions, almonds are nutritiously awesome.

Nutritional Data

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Almonds are loaded with monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats found in olive oil and avocados. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggested that an almond-enriched low calorie diet can help overweight individuals shed pounds more effectively than a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates.

Here are three more reasons to eat almonds:

Be more alkaline - Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming when you digest them. Many studies have shown the benefits of diets focused on alkaline forming foods.

Boost your brain - Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine. These are nutrients that aid you in your brain activity.

Stabalize your blood sugar - Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.

 

How to Toast Almonds

 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread almonds in shallow pan.

Place pan in oven for 20-30 minutes

 

Make Your Own Almond Milk

Ingredients

1.5 cups almonds

4 cups water

Maple syrup (optional)

Honey (optional)

Vanilla (optional)

 

Gear

Blender

Cheese cloth

Big mason jar

Wood spoon

Strainer

 

Directions

Soak almonds for 4 hours. Overnight is best for them to blend easiest.

Blend with 1.5 cups water. Start with slow speed and work your way up. Stir occassionally with wood spoon. Go for 1-2 minutes.

Add any honey, maple syrup, or vanilla, if you are feeling like sweets. Add rest of water. Blend again.

Pour through the strainer.

Hold cheese cloth over top of big mason jar. Pour through cheese cloth.

Chill.

Enjoy.

 

Make Your Own Almond Butter

This is an endurance workout. You’ll deserve every dense calorie of goodness. Patience is rewarded.

Ingredients

3 cups almonds

Directions

Soak almonds for 4 hours. Overnight is best for them to blend easiest.

Put in food processor or blender.

Process for 20 minutes, using wooden spoon to stir often.

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picture credit: secretly healthy

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