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Almonds are very versatile nuts with sweet flavour. They equally get along well in both savoury and sweet dishes. It is very easy to incorporate them in your diet plan. Their nutritional value remains same despite being eaten at anytime, in any form.
Almonds are available in many forms like blanched, whole, roasted or silvered. You can choose the type according to your needs or the recipe requirement.
Here, listed are the few ways in which you can have include almonds in your daily routine:
1) As a Snacks
You can eat Almonds as they are, like a snack. A handful of them in the morning can be a really good start of your day as they are filling and nutritious. Munching on them can be a really good substitute for junk food. Eat Almonds in addition to other dry fruits such as cashew, pistachio, walnuts, raisins to attain more nutritional value.
Almonds are also found in variety of flavours such as salted, roasted, coated with cinnamon or cocoa. Although, flavoured Almonds are more tasteful, they may have high sugar or calories. Read the ingredients and calories label before buying flavoured almonds to make sure you are getting what you want. The healthiest of them all, is the raw version that has no added ingredients.
2) Trail Mix
Trail mix is considered to be an ideal snack for hikes or travels. It is suppose to be lightweight and nutritious. Trail mix can make a very healthy snack when made with dried fruits and nuts. Almonds give a great nutritional boost to it. When buying a trail mix with almonds and dried fruits in them, make sure that there is no added sugar.
You can also make trail mix at home with Almonds, dry fruits, whole grain cereal and Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a healhtier option than the rest and compliments well with Almonds.
Another good flavoured combination for trail mix is that of raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, roasted chickpeas and raisins.
3) Almond Butter
Almond butter can be used as an alternative to spreads. It can be also used as a filing for chocolate, cereal bars, confectionery and bakery. It is as easily available in stores as peanut butter. You can even grind your own all-natural almond butter to avoid products with added sugar.
The home-made crunchy almond butter goes great with toast and bread. It can be also used as a dip for veggies and fruits. You can use it in oatmeal to get a dose of protien and healthy fats. It can be also used in smoothie as it whips easily into any smoothie. While it is very healhty, it should be taken in reasonable quantities as it is high in calories.
4) Almond Flour
Almond Flour is usually used as a flavour enhancer in bakery. One of the benifits of this flour is that its naturally gluten-free. It is used in Ketogenic diet or Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet.
You will come across two types of Almond Flour, one is natural which is made from whole almonds including skin. It is also called almond meal. The other one is almond flour that’s made from blanched almonds (the skins have been removed, so the flour's color is light yellow).
Generally, people replace white flour with almond flour while making fruit crisp. Almond Flour can be use as a sauce thickner. It is also used in coating for fried foods.
5) Sweet Dishes
Almonds are widely used in variety of indian sweet dishes due to their sweet taste and rich essence. You can use almonds in your desserts to make them healthy and nutritious. They can be added in baked goods or used as garnishers. Ground almonds can be used instead of flour to add a distinct taste to your dessert.
There is no end to the names of sweet dishes and desserts with almond in them. However, Almond cookies, biscuits, and puddings definitely deserves a mention. You can make your own home baked granola by mixing almonds in it, to have a healthy sweet dish.
6) Savoury Dishes
A variety of savoury dishes can be cooked, with almonds as their component. It adds a pleasant crunchy texture to them. To enjoy added health benefits, cook your almonds and veggies in heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter or regular oil.
You can sprinkle sliced almonds on salads that are mix of fruits and vegetables. Almonds can be also used to make sauces such as raw almond sauce or almond cream sauce that can be used in making veggies or pastas. You can replace pine nuts in pesto sauce with almonds.