Monday, June 29, 2015

Almonds: The Incredibly Versatile Nut

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would take us to the local co-op where she would buy a bag of almonds from the bulk bin. I would open the brown paper bag on the way home and munch on a few in the car. Almonds were always one of my favorite snacks growing up, even just plain! Out of all of the nuts in my pantry, I can easily say that almonds are one of the most versatile, tastiest nuts around. With just a few different varieties, or even just whole almonds, you can make so many different recipes in your kitchen.

So why should you eat almonds, especially if you're vegetarian or vegan? Let's reference an amazing, all-inclusive site for Nuts: !

1) Almonds are an incredible source of protein, weighing in at 7 grams/ounce! They make a perfect workout snack and pack easily into a small baggie or tupperware container
2) Besides being a great source of protein, almonds also contain good sources of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and more! Almonds are great for us to consume all around, and the fact that they are so versatile makes them even easier to consume on a regular basis!

So what type of almonds are there? Let's see: 

1) Raw almonds - used to make pantry staples such as almond butter
2) Roasted almonds - these make an amazing snack on their own, or add some dried fruit and chocolate to make your own trail mix
3) Sliced almonds - wonderful for sprinkling atop salads and smoothies for an extra protein boost, but also perfect in desserts
4) Blanched almonds - used for making almond flour and almond milk, which are surprisingly easy to make
5) Slivered almonds - also great in desserts or on top of salads! I also like to sprinkle these after I lightly toast them onto ice cream

Now that I'm positive that you are craving almonds, here are some great ways to use them:

1) These almond cherry oat bars play on one of my absolute favorite flavor pairings: cherries and almonds!
2) The combination of quinoa and almonds, with a hearty dose of fruit, makes for a hearty everyday breakfast
3) Now you can have your favorite candy bar in granola form with this almond joy granola recipe
4) Pack a spicy, healthy treat for yourself this week by making these honey chai spiced almonds
5) I can personally attest to just how tasty this green bean salad with fried almonds is! Perfect for summertime

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Favorites

  1. This Grand Budapest/The Shining mash-up is everything I want. I hope one day Wes Anderson will try a horror/suspense film!
  2. It's Negroni week! Check here to see if any bars around you are participating and to see which charity they'll be donating to! 
  3. If there's not a bar near you that's participating, not to fret: celebrate with these Negroni creamsicles. These are very high up on my to-make list.
  4. Can you believe it's already JUNE?! I'm still in denial. Here's a June produce list for your reference. What are you most excited about cooking this month?
  5. I promise I'm not totally obsessed with Negronis, it's really just Campari...but here is the history of the drink, Negroni week, and various International takes on this popular aperitif. 
  6. This video includes a side-by-side comparison of Quentin Tarantino scenes alongside the classic film scenes that inspired them. I absolutely love seeing these connections! 
  7. When was the last time you colored a picture or drew something? Tracy has the right idea with these coloring books for adults (plus some wine). I have my eye on the Jon Hamm coloring book.
  8. As soon as I purchase a proper popsicle mold set, I'm making these beautiful watermelon popsicles
  9. You had me at bourbon poached anything, and then again with peaches. All you need is some vegan vanilla ice cream to go with it!
  10. For your weekly dose of cute: here's a pet duck named Nibbles who gets so excited when his friend comes home from school. Enjoy!
A lovely pot of tea at my favorite tea room in Greensboro: Vida Pour Tea