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TIP OF THE DAY: 20 Ways To Enjoy Almonds

Almonds: delicious and good for you. Photo
courtesy National Almond Board.

 

February 16th is National Almond Day.

Almonds have long been known to have heart healthy benefits* (more about them below). Healthcare professionals recommend them for snacks, as substitutes for other foods, and even for breakfast.

Fans of The Devil Wears Prada may recall one of the model-like magazine staffers counting out seven almonds for breakfast. You can actually have 25-30 shelled whole almonds each day.

And you can enjoy almond nutrition in different forms, such as almond butter, almond meal (almond flour), almond milk and almond paste.

*From the FDA: “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

 

20 WAYS TO ENJOY MORE ALMONDS

Our 20 tips don’t include recipes, but you can find plenty of almond recipes at AlmondBoard.com.

ALMONDS AT BREAKFAST

  • In cold or hot cereal, scattered over waffles or pancakes.
  • In yogurt (use fat-free Greek yogurt and a non-caloric sweetener; you can even add a teaspoon of cocoa).
  • Slivered with diced fruit in a cottage cheese parfait.
  • Slivered on a [whole wheat] bagel with cream cheese (almonds add protein to the carbs and fat).
  •  
    ALMONDS AT LUNCH

  • Chopped or slivered in salads—green salad, cole slaw, macaroni or potato salad, tabbouleh, egg, chicken and tuna salad, you name it.
  • Slivered or chopped as a soup garnish.
  • Slivered on a sandwich, for flavor and texture. (We love wasabi almonds with grilled cheese, and buy several bags at a time at Trader Joe’s. Here’s a recipe to make your own.)
  •  

    ALMONDS AS SNACKS

    Raw or roasted, plain, glazed or flavored, almonds are great snacking. The USDA has declared them heart-healthy, and the daily allotment per the FDA is 1.5 ounces, about 25 almonds depending on size.

    One ounce will fill a 1/4 cup measure, and you can actually purchase an attractive tin that holds exactly that many ($1.87—or recycle a mint tin to hold almonds). The tin fits easily in your pocket for grab-and-go. Give them, filled with almonds, as a nutritious gift.

    Enjoy almonds as:

  • As grab-and-go snacks. (you can mix in some chocolate bits or season with your favorite herbs and spices).
  • Instead of candy. Glaze them with some sugar.
  • Ground up in the food processor, and mixed with nonfat yogurt, cumin, cayenne, garlic salt and pepper for a protein-packed dip with crudités.
  • Instant oatmeal with an almond topping.
  •  

    Broiled fish with almond-cilantro salsa. Recipe. Photo courtesy National Almond Board.

     

    ALMONDS AT DINNER

  • In stir frys.
  • Chopped into a crust for chicken and fish.
  • Add to grains—crunchy rice pilaf, quinoa and other favorites.
  • On pasta.
  • As a garnish: raw, toasted or in a salsa (see the fish photo for recipe link).
  •  
    ALMONDS IN DESSERTS

  • On ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • In puddings (chocolate pudding with almonds is a favorite).
  • In baked goods (we love almond macaroons and almond pie crusts).
  • As a healthy dessert: mix almonds with fresh berries, sliced banana or other fruit; use some light yogurt as a topping or sweeten some Greek yogurt).
  •  
    ALMOND HEALTH BENEFITS

    Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin: a petite package with a powerful punch.

    A one-ounce serving has 13 grams of good unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat, and is cholesterol-free. Unsaturated fat is the “good fat” that your body needs, and that may help lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol). You can find the studies here.

    One ounce of almonds (about 20 to 24 shelled whole almonds) provides 35% of your daily value for vitamin E, an antioxidant that may help promote healthy aging (a study reported in the Journal of the American Association [June 26, 2002] suggests a diet rich in foods containing vitamin E may help protect some people against Alzheimer’s disease).

    So Happy National Almond Day. Enjoy them guilt-free.

      





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