Almonds are an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of different ways to enrich many of your daily recipes. As a nutrient packer powerhouse, almonds are a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber and essential micronutrients including manganese, magnesium and Vitamin E, so here are 5 ways in which you can incorporate more almonds into your daily recipes so that you can begin reaping their many health benefits.
1. As Almond Butter
When almonds are ground together at a high speed, they release their natural oils turning into smooth, creamy and delicious almond butter that can be used in baking, smoothies and a range of other daily recipes. Blending almonds into almond butter is a great way to change the texture of almonds without altering their nutritional value and the silky smooth end product can be used in exactly the same way as peanut or other nut butter. For breakfast, why not try a spoonful spread on toast, or as a topping for your porridge, or if you need a breakfast on the go then try a dollop blended into your favorite smoothies for some extra protein and a serving of healthy fats. Almond butter also makes a great addition to hundreds of baking recipes, including brownies, cookies, cakes, and flapjacks - wherever you see peanut butter, just try almond butter instead!
2. As Almond Flour
A quick whiz in a blender can magically transform whole blanched almonds into a multipurpose flour. Almond flour is a great gluten-free and ketogenic-friendly alternative to wheat flour and can be used in all manner of recipes by simply using a 1:1 ratio. Almond flour is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, making it perfect for those who are following a ketogenic or paleo-based diet, allowing them to still enjoy baked goods without compromising their macros. Because almond flour is naturally gluten-free, it is also a safe flour alternative for those who are coeliac or gluten-intolerant and helps to keep cakes moist and light even in the absence of the protein, gluten. Try swapping out wheat flour for almond flour when crusting meat or fish, or when baking cakes or cookies and if you are feeling particularly adventurous then you can even make almond flour bread, which has a unique nutty and savory flavor.
3. As Flaked Almonds
Almonds are delicious in their raw and roasted form, but using them whole in recipes can be a little tricky. Flaked almonds, on the other hand, are much more manageable and make the perfect nutritional garnish to any meal. Flaked almonds can be easily sprinkled on top of savory dishes including salads and pasta dishes for a delicious crunch, or can be used as a topping for sweet dishes including smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and cakes. Whenever you fancy a little extra protein and a satisfying crunch, simply, and a sprinkle of flaked almonds to your dish.
4. As Ground Almonds
Ground almonds occupy the middle ground between flaked almonds and almond flour and can be easily created by blending whole almonds which still have their skins on. Unlike almond four, which is created from blanched almonds (almonds without their skins) ground almonds are created by blitzing almonds with their skin on, increasing their fiber content and producing a slightly more coarse end-product. Because ground almonds are denser than almond flour, they tend to be used in more dense recipes such as muffins or bread, but they also taste great blended into smoothies, stirred into oatmeal or when used as a crumb on meat and fish.
5. As Almond Milk
Finally, for a delicious alternative to conventional dairy-milk, try adding almond milk to your cereal, hot beverages or recipes. Almond milk is a great low fat, low sugar, yet a nutritious alternative to cow's milk and works just the same as regular milk when used in a 1:1 ratio. You can purchase unsweetened or sweetened almond milk, depending on your preference, and there are even varieties available infused with flavors such as chocolate, vanilla or banana, making it a versatile, healthier and lactose-free base for smoothies and desserts.
So there you have it, just five of the ways in which you can use almonds in more of your daily recipes - which ways will you try?