It’s no secret that I LOVE almonds. I have done so many posts that involve almonds it’s almost embarrassing, but not embarrassing enough to prevent me from doing another one. 🙂 Although this time I’m letting Kaitlyn do the honors in this article all about the wonders of this mighty nut!
I found a love for almonds about a year ago when I experimented with a Paleo diet. Almond flour, almond butter, almond milk, raw almonds etc. are all great for Paleo eaters since they avoid grains, dairy, and peanuts (among many other things.) Before that I had no idea just how much you can do with almonds! Since I have a feeling I wasn’t alone in my lack of almond knowledge, I decided to put together an almond primer of sorts that gives an overview of all the different ways to use almonds!
First of all, let’s talk for a second about why we would want to eat almonds in the first place. They are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, protein, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B and antioxidants. They are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They can help reduce the risk of heart attack, aid in building strong bones and teeth, lower blood sugar and boost brain function. Are you convinced yet? If not, here are a few posts from our archives that might help:
- 15 Ways Magnesium Can Improve Your Health
- Natural Home Remedies for Heart Burn
- Homemade Solutions for Undereye Circles
- Food Combos to Make You Look and Feel Younger
Even though almonds are a fantastic source of nutrition remember that 1/4 cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat. Granted it’s good fat, but fat nonetheless. So if you’re watching your weight don’t go crazy eating almonds. Another word of caution – all nuts contain phytate which makes them difficult to digest. To aid in the digestion process soak or roast almonds before eating them. Click here for simple instructions on roasting your own almonds.
Now we can move on to all the fantastic ways to include almonds in your diet. Along with how to use almonds in their various forms I’m going to include tips on where to get the best deals on almonds. I went to Sprouts, Costco, Target, Walmart and Smith’s this week to compare prices and find the best deals.
Eat them raw or roasted as an easy on-the-go snack or use them in tons of different recipes! The absolute best price I found on whole almonds was at Costco. They have Kirkland brand almonds for $4.96/lb – about $2 less per pound than anywhere else I went.
- Homemade Lara Bars
- Balboa Frozen Banana Bites
- Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake
- Granola Clusters
- Chocolate Bark
- Nacogdoches Chocolate Cake
- Chewy Granola Bars
Slivered Almonds (Blanched)
Silvered almonds are perfect for adding to salads or topping roasted veggies! You can also use them to make almond flour. The best price I found was Archer Farms brand at Target for $7.36 per pound.
- Craisin Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Neiman Marcus Dip
- Lemon Almond Poppyseed Muffins
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Also great on salads and veggies – it just kinds of depends on your taste preference whether you use sliced or slivered almonds. I love to add them to my oatmeal in the morning for a delicious crunch. The best price I found was Mariani brand at Costco for $4.99/lb. That is an out of this world fantastic price! Smith’s was more than $10/lb.
- Loaded Apple Nachos
- Swedish Visiting Cake
- Asian Ramen Slaw
- Overnight Blueberry Almond Oats
- Maple Green Beans
Almond flour is a fantastic product for gluten free eaters or anyone avoiding grains. I’ve made some seriously delectable almond flour muffins and chocolate chip cookies. Don’t get me wrong – almond flour baked goods don’t taste exactly like wheat flour baked goods. But they are definitely close enough to fill any craving! I’ve also found great success using almond flour as a breading for baked chicken strips. The best price I’ve found is Honeyville Farms brand at Costco for $6.49/lb. You can make your own, but I’ve never been able to get the right texture and it’s actually more expensive than the Costco flour. You need to use blanched almonds for flour and it costs a lot more to buy them blanched than raw. You can blanch them yourself but it is a very time consuming process and just not worth it.
- Almond Flour Pie Crust
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – I absolutely adore these cookies! I’m not even eating grain free at the moment and I still make them from time to time because they are so good.
- Blueberry Paleo Muffins
- Easy Paleo Biscuits
- Paleo Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard
Almond butter is just plain delicious! It’s great on a piece of whole wheat toast and perfect for dipping apples slices. I love to add a couple of spoonfuls to my smoothies to make them a little creamier. The cheapest way to get almond butter is to make it yourself with Costco almonds. That way it costs you $4.96/lb. Click here to find out how to make your own almond butter. If you don’t feel like making your own Costco has Kirkland brand for $6.03/lb. When buying almond butter always read your labels! Many brands add in all kinds of nasty things. The only ingredient you want to see is almonds – and maybe a little salt for flavor.
- Perfect Paleo Pancakes
- Chocolate Almond Butter Bites
- Raw Almond Butter Cups
- Banana Almond Butter Smoothies
- Banana Almond Butter Muffins
- Almond Butter Fudge
I had never bought almond milk until a year ago and I’ve really fallen in love with it since then! It’s great on granola and in smoothies. It’s also very refreshing on it’s own. My favorite way to use it is in my protein shake after a work out. I throw in a handful of frozen bananas with some mocha flavored protein powder and it is absolutely delicious! The best price I found was Silk brand at Walmart for $.98/lb. Silk is the only store bought brand I buy because it has the least questionable ingredients out of all the ones I’ve looked at. And even Silk has additives that I’d rather not have in my almond milk. I figured out that it would cost about $1.65/lb to make almond milk at home with Costco almonds. So it’s more expensive than store bought but I think it’s really the only way to avoid the additives. I even looked through every bottle at Whole Foods one day and couldn’t find a pure bottle!Click here for directions on making your own. If you do buy store bought make sure to only buy the unsweetened varieties. Nobody needs added sugar in their almond milk! If you don’t like the plain variety look for vanilla unsweetened.