Almonds are a tasty and nutritious addition torice dishes, vegetable dishes, casseroles, stuffings, salads, baked goods and desserts. Almonds were one of the first foods awarded a qualified health claim in the US. Although most people think of the almond as a nut, it is actually a seed that can be found inside a drupe, the fruit of the almond tree. Almonds are actually in the rose family and are often called “the queen of the rose family.”
Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in your cells and contribute to inflammation, aging and diseases like cancer. Almonds do more than just lower LDL levels in your blood. They also protect LDL from oxidation, which is a crucial step in the development of heart disease. Both raw and roasted almonds have been found to act as prebiotics, which serve as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut linked to immunity, anti-inflammation, and mental health. Almonds are also an excellent dietary source of vitamin E and can help better cholesterol levels as well as aid in lowering blood pressure.
–One pound of whole almonds measures 3 cups.
–Natural almonds have a shorter shelf-life than roasted/toasted almonds.
–Almonds can be substituted in any recipe calling for nuts.
Due to almonds’ high fat content, it is important to store them properly to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight Keeping almonds cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds may keep for several months, while stored in the freezer, almonds may keep for up to a year Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. Almonds should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid