Make Your Meal Nutty

Adding almonds — the “super nut” — can pump up the flavor, crunch and nutrition of some of your favorite dishes.

Almonds have many health benefits — more than any other nut. They help increase HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). They also have antioxidants from Vitamin E and reduce artery inflammation by lowering C-reactive protein levels. And the folic acid helps reduce artery fatty plaque deposits. In addition, almond has potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure.

Jazz up your meals by sprinkling slivered almonds on vegetables or salads. Add ground almonds to a turkey meatloaf for a delicious nutty flavor. Dry-roast them first (recipe below) for the fullest flavor.

Dry-Roasted Almonds
You’ll need:
• Small to medium non-stick pan
• 1 cup raw sliced or slivered almonds

Place almonds in pan and turn heat on high. Gently move pan so that the almonds are moving and constantly getting even heat. (The oils will quickly burn, so give them your full attention while roasting.) The almonds will start releasing a great aroma, which means the oils are heating up. Once you see a golden color, turn off heat and continue moving the almonds until they form a deeper color.

Pour almonds into a heat-safe bowl and let them cool. You can store for future use. Sprinkle on your favorite green salad or quinoa salad for a great crunch. If you have a food processor, grind into a coarse or fine meal and add to turkey meatloaf or sprinkle on baked chicken.

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