Benefits of AlmondsMay 17, 2016
This text is written by Sophie Geoffrion, nutritionist
Our star ingredient of the month has a little romanticism going on. Could it be its shape that reminds us of the gentle eyes of our beloved one or the delicate scent of almond croissants which never fails to elate lovers in the morning? In any case, almonds boast an impressive resume to anyone willing to invest a tidy sum for a versatile and exceptionally nutritious ingredient.
In addition to its elevated levels of antioxidants and plant sterol contents, a portion of ¼ cup of whole nature almonds will offer nearly 8g of protein (about the same as a glass of milk), 4g of fibers (excellent source), good monounsaturated fats, beneficial to the heart, and a whole range of vitamins and minerals that are favourable, among others, to the health of your bones. So many qualities concentrated in such a small food! It’s not surprising that the almond has been proclaimed the queen of snacking: it knows how to tame little cravings while supplementing the body due to its unequalled nutritional value.
Conversely, the relatively recent popularity of almond ‘’milk’’ is not based on the reputation of its raw material, the whole almond. Unlike the latter, the vegetable drink in question essentially holds no protein or fiber. Unless supplemented with vitamins and minerals additives, it has nothing extraordinary to offer despite its high health connotation. It is therefore recommended to consume almonds that were as minimally processed as possible!
In terms of their use in cooking, almonds are crisp to perfection and delicious eaten as is. With that being said, to expand your culinary horizons, try one (or ALL) of the following tips:
• For a meal that will warm the heart of a loved one, prepare a tagine with prunes and almonds;
• Add crunch to salads, soup garnishes and fish fillets with a handful of sliced and toasted almonds;
• Replace up to ¼ of the flour with almond powder in muffin, cookie or cake recipes;
• Trade your traditional toast with peanut butter & banana for a sandwich with almond butter & fresh pear slices;
• Prepare your own granola bars from large oatmeal flakes, mashed dates, nut butter, honey and – you guessed it – chopped almonds;
• Forget the pie crusts dripping with saturated and trans fats, harmful for cardiovascular health. Grind almonds and dates in a food processor to make a tasty and natural crust you don’t need to bake!
To conclude with another positive fact, be informed that just like other foods containing both protein and fat (for example cheese), chewing almonds at the end of a meal or a sugary snack helps fight tooth decay by neutralizing the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. A great way to make the enamel of your teeth radiate!