The other day, I tried a new flavor of cold coffee, with bits of roasted almond. That set me to thinking of how versatile the almond is. Sharing some super useful information and ideas I found on almonds:
The Amazing Health Benefits of Almonds
- Just 24 almonds a day—about a handful—can help you maintain good cholesterol. Low in saturated fat, almonds have a proven role in improving heart health.
- That magic number, 24 almonds, adds up to 163 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein, as well as 37 percent of your vitamin E, 19 percent of your magnesium, and 36 percent of your manganese daily requirements.
- The vitamin E in almonds keeps your eyes and skin looking and feeling youthful.
- A team of scientists at Purdue University found that people who consumed almonds on a daily basis ate fewer calories from other food sources.
- Sweet and warming, almonds reduce “vata” dosha, bringing you relief from aches and pains, improving the quality of your sleep and boosting mind power.
- Almonds nurture reproductive tissue.
- Ground and mixed with oatmeal, they make a wonderful scrub for the skin—besides sloughing off dead cells, they lavish you with vitamin E, which nourishes skin.
Delicious Almond Ideas
Soak 24 almonds in water overnight. In the morning, their skins will slide off easily. Munch half of them raw before breakfast, or grind and mix them with milk for a delicious and healthy drink. Have the rest of them in the evening—almonds are a heavy food, so it’s best to have a few at a time.
Add roasted and slivered almonds to grain-based dishes such as couscous and bulgur wheat salads. The textures combine well, and the crunch is beautiful!
A simple Chinese stir-fry gets oodles of flavor with the addition of a few almonds. In fact, they taste great in many Asian gravies and sauces. I love them with tofu and paneer (Indian cottage cheese, similar to ricotta).
Knead some ricotta cheese with the heel of your palm, until it is really silken smooth. Mix some finely chopped almonds and crushed pistachios into it, and drizzle a little honey. Roll up into balls and enjoy as dessert! We call it sandesh, and make it with paneer in India.
Chop almonds up and knead them into dough for making bread and scones.
Lightly fry a few chopped almonds in a teaspoon of ghee or olive oil. Toss them into freshly steamed rice for a divine, delicate treat.
Give steamed veggies and fish a glamorous touch with roasted almonds.
Roasted peppers + olive oil + vinegar + almonds = a delicious dip.
Keep a handful of chopped almonds in your handbag. When ordering salad in a restaurant, sprinkle them on top for an extra boost of power and crunch.
A sweet snack that’s really good for you: melted dark chocolate coated with chopped almonds!
Make your own power clusters: combine unsweetened whole-grain cereal with raisins, almonds, and a little honey.
Almonds enhance the flavor of many soups, such as coconut and chicken.
Ever tried almonds in sandwiches? They make a great substitute for peanut butter.
Make your hummus more interesting with the addition of a few almonds.
A lovely salad idea: strawberries + cucumber + crunchy toasted almonds + olive oil and lemon dressing. (Bonus: roasting and toasting almonds makes them more easily digestible, too).