Nuts About Almonds

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A few weeks ago I learned about a project Nuts.com put together featuring almonds. As they said, “Since this versatile nut packs a great nutritional punch, we’re including it in our diet as much as possible and would love to inspire others to do the same.” I love almonds so I jumped at the opportunity to share how I include almonds in my diet.

I think I’ve always loved almonds. I remember sitting with my dad watching a movie or a favorite TV show and we’d be snacking on a package of mixed nuts. I always picked out the good stuff, like almonds, pecans and brazil nuts. My dad didn’t seem to mind, although I know he enjoyed the almonds too. Years later, if I find myself with a package of mixed nuts I am still picking out my favorites, especially the almonds.

So what’s so great about almonds?

Well beyond the fact they’re just so yummy, they offer a lot of health benefits, most of which I didn’t know until I did a little research. Check out this great graphic from the Almond Board of California.

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Pretty awesome, huh?

Now like a lot of people I enjoy just snacking on plain almonds. I have a big bag of raw almonds in my cupboard and it’s so easy to grab a small handful for a snack or to pack in my lunch to take to work. I love the crunch! But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed them as more of a treat or dessert sometimes too! Chocolate covered almonds, especially dark chocolate, are a personal favorite and my boyfriend recently introduced me to Jordan Almonds, which I really enjoyed as well.

Another way I get some almonds into my diet are through KIND bars. I usually take a bar with me to work for a morning or afternoon snack. They’re really filling and tasty. My current favorite is the Madagascar Vanilla Almond.

Just look at those almonds!

Just look at those almonds!

I packed one today and I may or may not be counting down to when I can eat it 😉

I’m not sure if it was coincidence or not, but right after I was contacted by Nuts.com to participate in this campaign a fellow blogger posted a dinner recipe that used almonds. It looked easy enough and so I thought it’d be great to highlight here too.

Linda over at Fabulous Fare Sisters put together a recipe for Almond Rice. I made it last night for dinner and it was a big hit. Thank you, Linda!

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to visit Fabulous Fare Sisters for other great recipes.

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Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 roasted red pepper slices, diced
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp toasted almonds

Directions
1. In a medium sauce pot, heat oil on medium. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rice, parsley and diced red pepper and sautee for 1 minute.
3. Add the almond extract and stir.
20150625_1832504. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
5. Place in serving bowl and top with toasted almonds.

Personal Tips/Thoughts
I forgot to buy sliced almonds and toasted my own whole ones in the oven. They worked well, but I think in the future I would like to try sliced almonds.

I added a whole onion, a bit more red pepper and parsley since I was making this more as my main dish rather than a side dish. I also think you could substitute a different flavor of stock, vegetable for example, and it would still be a great dish.

I loved the smell of the almond extract as I poured it in. It’s only a little, but it’s so fragrant. I also loved how colorful the dish ultimately was, from the early stages of cooking until the final product.

On another note, I really enjoyed working with Nuts.com. It’s a family business dating back to 1929. Definitely check out their history on their website. I personally can’t wait to try some of their products. They have such a wide variety.

Do you like almonds? How do you enjoy them most?

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