If there's a nut worth celebrating, it's almonds. That's because almonds have been a part of human history since ancient times -- the nut is even mentioned in the Bible. For many centuries, people have been eating and enjoying almonds in many different forms and ways, including cooking with them.
Almonds are so versatile that they can be made into almond butter, almond milk, almond flour and even almond oil (also used in the cosmetic industry). The different forms are used to create everything from sweets to savory dishes in cuisines around the world. But of course almonds are great for eating out of hand too.
Some Interesting Facts About Almonds:
- Almonds originate in the Middle East.
- Almonds are actually stone fruit, related to peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries.
- The state of California produces 80% of the world's supply of almonds.
- Chocolate manufacturers use 40% of the world's supply of almonds.
- Almonds contain absolutely no cholesterol and are high in magnesium and vitamin E.
- A handful of almonds (about 1 ounce) contains 163 calories, 14 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber and 6 grams protein (National Nutrient Database).
- The American Heart Association (AHA) has certified almonds as a heart-healthy food.
After reading those facts, what are you waiting for? Start eating almonds!
Take a look through our gallery of healthy recipes. Each one uses almonds in an interesting way -- one recipe uses almonds to create a crusty topping for fish, another uses them as a breading, and another grinds the almonds to a paste so it can be used as a thick sauce. Learn some healthy new ways to incorporate almonds into your diet.
How do you like to enjoy almonds? Leave a comment.
This Spanish-inspired dish comes together in just 15 minutes. Quickly grill the turkey cutlets in a grill pan and, at the same time, prepare the zesty topping, which includes almonds and olives seasoned with smoked paprika. Serve with rice and green beans to complete the meal. Get the Grilled Turkey Cutlets with Olives and Almonds recipe
A crust of almonds, lemon zest and dill creates an elegant presentation for this baked fish dish, not to mention a flavorful finish for mild white fish like cod or halibut. Dijon mustard helps the topping adhere to the fish. Serve over sauteed baby spinach. Get the Almond-and-Lemon Crusted Fish with Spinach recipe
A quick and simple almond pesto dresses up your favorite pasta in this recipe. To get the most almond flavor, fry the nuts before blending them with garlic, basil, cheese and oil. The recipe also includes sauteed cherry tomatoes, which help loosen the pesto sauce. Get the Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Almond Pesto recipe
Kids and adults alike will love these pork tenderloin fingers, which are a healthier take on chicken nuggets. The recipe is baked to keep down on fat and the breading includes whole-wheat breadcrumbs and crunchy almonds. Serve with a dipping sauce easily made from honey, soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Get the Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce recipe
This flavorful pasta dish is topped with a crisply sauteed almond compound butter, which can also work well as a topping for fish or chicken. Instead of blanching the asparagus, it's simmered in broth and soy sauce for a extra flavor. At the last minute, stir in arugula, preserved lemon slices and mint. Get the Asparagus Linguine with Almond Butter Crisp recipe
Use pork or veal or a combination of both to make these mouthwatering Spanish-style meatballs. The sauce has a Catalan flair -- it's made with white wine, saffron, lemon zest and a fried piccada of bread, almonds and garlic. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the savory sauce. Get the Meatballs in Almond Sauce recipe
Pesto isn't just about basil and pine nuts -- the recipe can be completely customized to your tastes, such as in this pasta dish that features parsley-almond pesto. The pesto has a zesty and almost fruity flavor. Serve over thin pasta, like capellini or spaghetti. Get the Parsley-Almond Pesto with Angel Hair recipe
These vegetarian burgers are great served in a bun with lettuce and tomato or simply served on their own with a side dish or salad. The recipe includes lentils, sauteed vegetables and almonds -- the mixture is blended in the food processor and then formed into patties. To make cooking effortless, use a nonstick skillet. Get the Lentil and Almond Burgers recipe
This pasta dish is so easy to make, because the sauce requires no cooking whatsoever. Simply toss cooked spaghetti or spaghettini with fresh tomatoes, basil, scallions and a paste made of almonds, garlic, anchovies and capers. Don't be afraid of the anchovies, the flavor will be more briny than fishy. Get the Spaghettini with Tomatoes, Anchovies and Almonds recipe
Dry sherry helps create a delicious pan sauce for this chicken recipe. After searing the paprika-dusted chicken cutlets, make the sauce in the same pan. Start with toasting the almonds, then add the wine and swirl in a little bit of butter at the end to thicken. Get the Sherried Chicken Cutlets with Almonds recipe