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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