Monday, May 13, 2013

The Nutty Worlds of Almonds

Roasted Salted Almonds
Almond Oil is my favorite oil to use in my skin care line.  It works well for all skin types.

But first let’s talk a little history.  Almonds date back as far as biblical times (1400 BC).  In the “Book of Numbers” it tells the story of Aaron's rod that blossomed and bore almonds. Almonds were seen as a symbolism of divine approval from God.  In Ancient Egypt it was considered a delicacy to use almonds in bread.  The Romans (100 AD) believed they had fertility power and would shower newlyweds with them.   In Swedish tradition it is common to hide an almond in pudding at Christmas time.  The person who finds it will receive good fortune for a year.  
Almond tree in bloom

Almonds ripening 
By 600 – 900 AD traders traveling the Silk Road between the Mediterranean region and China planted almond trees along the route where the trees flourished.   In the mid 1700 AD Franciscan Padres introduced the tree to California from Spain.  In time the ideal growing conditions were developed.  As a result Sacramento, and San Joaquin CA, has become the dominant production leaders of almonds.  It is ranked as the 7th largest US food export.

Almonds have wonderful nutritional value.  They contain vitamins E, A and B, manganese and magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron. The fats in almonds are mostly monounsaturated , which is the makeup of olive oil.   They are low in carbohydrates so for those watching their carb intake this is a popular snack.  Almond helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and other heart issues.  Almonds have a sweet taste to them but do not contain all those unwanted sugars, which makes it great for those who suffer from diabetes.
Almond Butter

Almonds are a great alternative when maintaining your protein intake as they are high in protein.  Because protein takes longer for the body to absorb it will help your body maintain its energy level and control your metabolism.

Almonds are also good for your skin because of the vitamins E, A and B it contains.  These vitamins are great for damaged skin and signs of aging.  Almond Oil is good for all skin types.  It is light in nature and easily absorbs into the skin without clogging pores and does not leave an oily residue as it rehydrates the skin.  It contains high levels of oleic and a linoleic essential acid which helps the skin stay smooth and supple and restores the skins natural elasticity. Almond oil and ground almonds are great in facial/body scrubs since they help exfoliate the skin and replaces oils the skin needs to stay healthy. 

Different forms of almonds to buy.

  • Whole almonds, raw, roasted and salted – great for eating.
  • Almond slivers – great for cooking and baking.
  • Almond butter – nice change from peanut butter.
  • Almond oil – great for scrubs, creams and massage oils.
  • Almond flour – great for baking.
  • Almond milk – great for sauces or to drink as is.

Almond Oil
Make sure you are purchasing almonds/oil/butters that are fresh and organic.   Most grocery stores with a natural section carry almonds in bulk, which is less expensive and a better quality.

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