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1 Jun 2006

Nuts - Almonds

Almonds are the healthiest and most nutritionally dense of all nuts. They are very versatile as they can be added to both sweet and savoury recipes and are wonderful to munch just as they are. Almonds have been a favorite since ancient times.

Sweet almonds are the type that are eaten. Bitter almonds are used to make almond oil that is used as a flavoring agent for foods and liqueurs such as Amaretto. Bitter almonds are otherwise inedible as they naturally contain toxic substances such as hydrocyanic acid and these compounds are removed in the manufacturing of almond oil.

Almonds are rich in vitamin E and magnesium plus they contain manganese, potassium, calcium, phoshorous, niacin, copper and iron. They are excellent for anyone under emotional or physical stress, for a healthy heart and for energy. With their high fiber content are also excellent for maintaining a healthy colon.

The American Heart Association stated in their journal "Circulation" that in recent trials a handful of almonds daily (approx 1oz) had been found to lower bad cholesterol by 4.4% after only a month and those in the trial who ate 2oz daily lowered their cholesterol by up to 9.4% while maintaining their weight.

Used in many beauty products almond oil is well known for for softening and soothing the skin. It is a great moisturizer suitable for all skin types, helps relieve irritation, inflammation and itching. It is an excellent massage medium to use to help spread the essential oil mixture and it helps promote a clear, young looking complexion and also helps to relieve muscular aches and pains.

Almonds can be purchased in many forms, in the shell, raw, roasted and ground. In their shells almonds have the longest shelf life but if purchased out the shell should be kept in the fridge once the packet has been opened or they can easily go rancid with their high oil content.

Recipe*zaar has some great recipes containing almonds for you to try.

Mushroom Almond Pate
Low in fat and sodium and delicious on pita chips, melba toast, or crackers.
Great for parties!

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, fresh
32 servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread almonds in shallow pan and toast in oven about 8 minutes or until lightly browned (be careful not to burn!).
Set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt and thyme.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft and most of the pan juices have evaporated.
In food processor or blender, whirl almonds to form paste.
With motor running, add mushroom mixture and whirl until smooth.
Remove mixture to serving bowl and serve with crackers or fresh vegetables.

Almond Burgers
Great veggie burger. I like serving these guys in a pita (because the patties are delicate and tend to break... but in a pita pocket, it's all good! You know!) with lettuce, cucumber and raita or chutney.

1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 carrot, diced fine
1/4 cup tamari
1 lemon, juice of

Mix together the almonds, tahini, onion and carrot in a bowl.
Stir in half the tamari and half of the lemon juice.
If mixture seems dry, add up to the remaining half of each ingredient until the mixture holds together in patty form, but is not sloppy.
(NOTE: you can add additional ground almond if the mixture gets too wet... but it's easier to control things with the liquid.)
Form 6 patties and fry in a little oil or broil until golden brown and a bit crispy.
Serve on a roll or in a pita pocket with your favorite condiments.
Or put mixture in serving bowl and serve with crackers or fresh vegetables.

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8 comments:

Chandira said...

Thanks for the yummy-looking recipes, I'll give 'em a try. I love almonds and mushrooms.

Dirty Butter said...

I try to eat a few almonds every day, but I didn't know about keeping them in the refrigerator. Thanks for the info.

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Galli Galli Sim Sim said...

This recipe sounds really good. I'll be giving it a try soon. Thanks.
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CyberCelt said...

Hello!

I stumbled on a great recipe site and thought of your:

http://www.vegcooking.com/momsrecipes.asp

Jackie said...

Thanks for all the comments :-)
Will pop in at Blog Village.
VegCooking is a wonderful site and I have used their recipes on this blog often.

Chandira said...

There's also http://vegweb.com/

They have hundreds of veg recipes! They even have one of mine posted somewhere..

Justin said...

I stumbled on a great recipe site and thought of your:

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Hudson said...

I constantly find myself going to your blog for new recipes and great information on food. What a fabulous blog!!!Hudson and Mary Jo