Already the most popular nut in the U.S., the almond has gotten a lot of attention lately. Almonds keep showing up on the list of “superfoods”, recommended by dietitians and doctors because they pack a lot of nutritional punch per calorie.
The argument that almonds are a “superfood” is pretty compelling:
- Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat – the kind we’re supposed to be eating.
- Studies have shown that eating them regularly can help reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol.
- Almonds can help you lose weight! Some research shows that because almonds contain a balance of protein, fat and fiber, eating them helps you feel full and satisfied, leading you to reduce food intake during the rest of your day.
- They’re gluten-free.
- They’re often tolerated by individuals who are allergic to peanuts (which are actually a legume, not a tree nut.)
- Ounce for ounce, almonds have more protein, fiber, calcium and Vitamin E than any other nut.
This week is a great time to get into the almond habit: Blue Diamond almonds, a trusted brand for more than 100 years, are on sale at Brookshire’s.
My favorite way to eat almonds is just right out of the container. But you can also toss a few into your morning yogurt or oatmeal; use flavored or salted ones to add crunch to a salad; add a few for crunch into tuna or chicken salad; or substitute them for other types of nuts in your favorite cookie or dessert recipe.
Blue Diamond has also developed several flavored almond varieties, both savory and sweet. I find these make a great, mid-afternoon snack that’s much healthier than heading to the vending machine for a bag of chips.
Or try this recipe, courtesy Blue Diamond, which adds even more flavor, but very little extra fat, to plain almonds.
Roasted Almonds with Coriander, Chili and Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 to 3 small dried red chili peppers
2 generous pinches of sea salt
Add the olive oil and almonds to a hot saute pan. Saute and toast the almonds until golden brown, shaking the pan regularly to color them evenly and accentuate their nutty flavor. Crumble in the coriander and chili to taste, and add the sea salt. Toss over and serve hot on a large plate.