Eat your almonds

Almonds have excellent health properties. Just a handful gives you important minerals and vitamins.

Classified as a low carbohydrate and high protein food, almonds are the perfect snack to fill you up and give you an energy boost. They are packed with antioxidants, heart-healthy fat and fiber, and are an excellent source of Vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. Almonds promote cardiovascular health and help reduce or eliminate health problems related to metabolic syndrome.

Almonds are calorie rich; just a single ounce (28 grams) contains 160 calories. Ironically, however, they aid in weight control because you only need small amounts to feel satisfied – about 25 almonds per day as a snack or a dozen almonds when paired with other foods, such as a breakfast bowl of fruit and yoghurt. According to the FDA, if your diet is already low in saturated fat and cholesterol, consuming 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of nuts per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Eighty percent of the world’s almonds are grown in California. But when it comes to cooking or baking, almonds are in high demand all over the world.

Almonds can be blended into butter, made into cream or milk or ground to make flour or breadcrumbs. Raw or roasted, they add flavour and texture to salads, desserts, smoothies and a variety of savory dishes.

As a mid-afternoon snack, I often enjoy a handful of raw almonds. I also bake with them or add them to salads and other vegetarian or vegan dishes. Brown almonds (with skins) are healthier than blanched almonds (skins removed) because the antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the skin.

Below, you will find the recipe for a wholesome and nutritious almond cream that I have made. If you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or you just want to avoid dairy products, almond cream is an excellent substitute for butter or dairy cream.

To make the cream, I didn’t use a nut bag or cheesecloth to filter the almond residu. All of the almonds that I used stayed in the cream. Nothing was wasted.

This almond cream has no added preservatives or other chemicals in it. The only two ingredients that you need are brown almonds and water. That’s it. It’s easy to make and can be incorporated into various recipes. It can be stored in a glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Next week I will post a dessert that I made with the cream.

 

Almond cream

  • 1/2 cup of brown almonds, soaked in water overnight or in boiled water for at least 2 hours
  • 1 cup of water

For more, increase the ratio to 1 cup soaked almonds and 2 cups of water.

When almonds have soaked enough, strain the water and rinse them under running water.

Put soaked almonds and the 1 cup of water into a high speed blender and blend, whilst gradually increasing to high, for 2-3 minutes.

Add to your recipe. Store leftovers in a covered glass container in fridge. Keeps for 5 days.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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