February 16th is National Almond Day!
Almonds are much more than just a humble nut these days. In addition to providing great health benefits, they can be made into milk, flour, butter, oil, candy, and cosmetics.
The almond is not technically a nut, rather it is the seed of a fruit. The fruit they produce is a type of drupe fruit which is similar to a peach. It is still perfectly fine to refer to them as a nut because according to FARE, they are still labeled as a tree nut – allergy-wise – along with pecans and cashews.
These little “nuts” are packed full of vitamin E and manganese. They are also known to improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and heart disease if eaten regularly. Almonds, like most nuts, contain a lot of fat. There is a difference between good and bad fats, and almonds are definitely a good fat to keep your body in shape!
Another product you can get from almonds is almond oil which is phenomenal not only for your health, but for your hair and skin too. Almonds have also been infused in beauty products like lotions and bath bombs.
Chocolate, candied, roasted, toasted, raw, salted, sliced...
These days, there are so many ways to enjoy what was once just a simple almond.
Virtually every popular coffee shop has almond milk on the menu nowadays. Almond milk has many health benefits and is often used to create healthier versions of treats like yogurt, cheese, coffee creamer, and even ice cream!
When finely milled, you can also turn almonds into flour to use as a healthy alternative for white bleached flour in most recipes. One of the main ingredients in French macarons, a popular treat among young people all over the world, is almond flour.
For those that prefer almonds instead of peanuts, you can also make almond butter from home easily. All you need is a food processor and almonds. We certainly have a lot to thank our friend the almond for, so it is only fitting that it gets an entire dedicated day each year!