Just Raw: Almond Craze

Nut or not, eat your almonds raw

The almond is a perfect example of a food best eaten raw due to its nutritional benefits and the plethora of ways to eat this tiny pseudonut. Botanically speaking, almonds are considered seeds, not nuts—they come from the almond tree and are the seed of the drupe fruit. However they are commonly (though inaccurately) referred to as a nut.

There are two types of almonds: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are what you would buy in a store, while bitter almonds are used for making almond oil and as the flavoring agent for foods and liqueurs. The bitter almond contains toxic substances, which make it unsafe to use until the toxins are removed in the manufacturing process.

Adding almonds to your daily diet will improve your health in more ways than you thought possible. Like olive oil, almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids known to reduce the risk of heart disease. And almonds are also low in sodium and high in potassium, a combination that helps regulate blood pressure. Almonds make a great snack for pregnant women due to their high folic acid content: those with constipation issues could find relief thanks to their high fiber levels (three grams in a one-ounce serving). You also get 32 percent of the daily allowance for vitamin E and 12 percent of your protein allowance. And if you are looking for alternative sources of calcium, one ounce of almonds contains about the same amount of calcium you would find in 1/4 cup of milk.

There are many great ways to eat almonds raw, and many recipes that use almonds are heat-free. You can add them to salads, snack on them during the day, use them to make almond milk, and add them to yogurt, salads, and shakes.

It only takes one ounce of almonds to give your body these amazing benefits, and it will be the easiest decision you’ll make all day!

 

No-Bake Almond Butter Apricot Bites

Makes: 25 bites

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

10 dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Place the almonds, raisins, and cinnamon in a food processor. Turn on until mixed thoroughly into a smooth, thick almond butter paste: about three minutes. Turn off the food processor. Add the chopped apricots and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the coconut and pulse for another 10 seconds. Remove the dough and place it on a cutting board or counter covered in a piece of plastic wrap. Pull up the plastic on either side and begin to press it together to form one large square, keeping the layer of plastic between your hands and the dough to prevent sticking. Wrap up the square and place it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. This will make it easier to cut. Using a sharp knife, cut the square into 25 smaller squares. Store the bites in an airtight container in the fridge. Source: fitsugar.com