Considered one of nature’s most nutritionally-packed nuts and an original superfood, almonds are filling and can actually help with weight-loss. A recent Penn State study revealed that swapping a carbohydrate-based snack with an ounce and a half of almonds helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, which also reduces both abdominal and leg fat. Another plus is that almonds can be enjoyed “as is”; you can eat a handful of them raw, or add them to some yogurt or atop a salad. So, here are five ways to incorporate almonds into your daily meals and snacks.
Add whole almonds to powerful blenders, chopped ones for smaller blenders, even almond butter if you don’t want to damaging your machine. This helps bring nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet as well as protein. What’s more, the HDL fat in the almonds actually enhances absorption of antioxidants. When it comes to almonds, using a blender can add extra fun as you can play around and pick out your favorite ingredients and flavors. Throw in a scoop of protein powder, a bit of ice, some non-fat milk, a few fruits, add some almonds and blend -you’ve got a tasty, healthy snack.
Instead of smothering your proteins in traditional bread-based batter before frying them, try using almonds as a crust instead. Keep it simple by tossing some crushed almonds or almond flour in a bowl and mixing it with herbs of your choice. Brush the protein with Dijon mustard or dip into a beaten egg, press it into the almond mixture and bake away. Serve it over a bed of steamed greens or with a side of roasted potatoes. Your call!
Try an alternative version of a crumble topping by mixing two tablespoons of almond butter with a quarter cup of raw almonds. Sprinkle this mixture over freshly-baked desserts or couple it with your favorite fruits (try frozen berries or sauteed pears) for a crunchy combination loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
Not only can almonds be eaten raw but they can also be added to drinks, so why not make some sauce with them? Take some almond butter and thin it out with some vegetable broth. Season generously with grated garlic, turmeric and crushed red pepper. Drizzle the almond sauce over a serving of sauteed veggies with some lean protein and gluten-free buckwheat soba noodles.
It seems that almonds can be added to just about anything, savory dishes included. Chopped almonds can be used in stir fry dishes with veggies, wild rice and quinoa to squash, lentil or tomato soup. They also add flavor and texture to chilled greens. So if you plan on making some coleslaw or are wondering what’s missing from your tossed salad, unleash the almonds!