All About that Almond.

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Good things come in small packages. The tiny kernel of the Almond is a powerhouse of nutrients ranging from iron, calcium, protein and healthy fats. When you take a handful of Almonds, know that you’re holding much more than a bunch of nuts to munch on because size clearly doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to Almonds. The tradition of eating a bowl of Almonds during exam time is one that we are all familiar with but there is a lot more that these nuts have to offer us.

The next time you’re missing popcorn or chips while watching a movie at home, just satisfy your craving with some delicious Almonds. Whether you’re calorie conscious, turning vegan or in the mood for that irreplaceable nutty flavour, we have a list of Almond based products that could come in handy.

Almond Meal:
If you’re attempting a gluten-free diet plan but need to spruce it up with some flavourful protein, Almond Meal and Almond Flour are your go –to ingredients. An Almond Meal is a coarse grind made of almonds with their skin and Almond Flour is a finely ground powder of blanched almonds, meaning no skin. This variety of flour can become a regular part of your diet by using them to make your daily chapatis. Even when you are baking, you can replace regular flour with Almond Meal. Though you may not get the same elasticity as with baking flour, incorporating it in parts can solve your dilemmas and give you great taste. For example, if your recipe requires 2 cups of flour, switch one cup with a cup of Almond Meal or Flour!

Almond Milk:
Ideal for those who are diet-conscious or have lactose allergies, Almond Milk has been an up and coming favourite among dieticians and nutritionists. Although it has 50% less calories than cow’s milk, it is important to understand that it cannot replace milk in terms of nutritional value. That being said, there are multiple benefits of Almond Milk. The absence of cholesterol or saturated fat keeps your heart healthy and its calcium content coupled with vitamin D is good for your teeth and bones. Easy to digest and downright delicious, almost 4 cups of Almond Milk can be made at home within 30mins! All you need to do is soak the almonds, blend them with boiled water and then strain it. You can even add vanilla, cinnamon or maple syrup for the perfect healthy drink.

Almond Butter:
As Indians, all things greasy and yummy are a large part of our daily consumption. Butter, ghee and oil are the foundation of all our snacks and breaking out of these habits can be difficult, especially when you refuse to compromise on taste. But with Almond Butter, you can achieve it all! A healthier option, you can replace your usual heavy cheese or chocolate bread spread with Almond Butter. For those who love peanut butter, you can now get that lovely crunchy and nutty flavour with this all-natural option. Free of sugar and additives, this is also a great source of calcium, iron and dietary protein!

Almond Oil:
Did you know that there is a culinary variety of this as well? Not only is it incredibly good for your hair and skin; the edible variety of Almond Oil is an extremely healthy product. It is full of MUFA; which are mono-unsaturated fats that are found in other foods like avocados, olives and even dark chocolate! In fact; its saturated fat content is as low as 8% while other healthy cooking oils such as avocado oil, linoleic sunflower oil and olive oil contain 10-14% of saturated fat. Since Almond Oil has such a varied cosmetic use, be sure to check the label of your product and ensure it’s edible before purchasing it.

All of these are just healthier versions of our everyday ingredients. They do differ in taste, but it is so much easier to make the switch to healthy with these; rather than chasing after ingredients that really don’t blend with your regular lifestyle. These small steps will have great health benefits for your body in the long run. The main thing you need to remember is to go natural. With each product you pick up; check their packaging. The minute you spot an ingredient you do not recognize, look it up. If it’s not natural, it shouldn’t be in your grocery bag.