Friday, 25 October 2013

Take One .. Bag of Flaked Almonds

Open bag of flaked almonds

Did you know that almonds are one of the world's healthiest foods? For years I avoided them like the plague, that first taste of marzipan was enough to put me off eating almonds forever. When I first started to cook with almond flour I expected everything to come out tasting of commercially made marzipan but no, I was quite taken by surprise!

For this month's challenge Sainsbury's sent a packet of flaked almonds, something I've cooked with on an almost day to day basis to add additional nutrition to the food I'm cooking and they look good too! Some interesting facts you might not know about almonds:

  • almonds are actually seeds of the fruit of the almond tree and are not true nuts
  • the Romans showered newly weds with almonds as a fertility charm
  • 40% of the world's almond crop is used by chocolate manufacturers
  • almonds are very high in alpha-tocopherol vitamin E which is said to help neutralize the free radicals that can damage your cells and possibly your DNA
  • there are about 23 almonds in one ounce

I think that toasting the flaked almonds really helps to bring out their flavour so I like to add them to almost anything savoury and it doesn't take long. Just sprinkle a few in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until slightly browned.

Flaked almonds toasting in a pan

I scattered toasted flaked almonds on my Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad

Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad

Asparagus Tenderstem Broccoli and Green Bean Salad

I also like to use flaked almonds in baking such as my Apple and Cardamom Muffins...

Apple and Cardamom Muffin

Grain Free Christmas Cake ingredients in a bowl

In fact they're a very festive ingredient, also appearing in my sweet mincemeat recipe...

Sweet mincemeat in jars with holly and red berry decoration

Recently I've used flaked almonds in two fruit desserts, the Blackberry Stuffed Baked Apples recipe...

Blackberry Stuffed Baked Apples in a dish

and the Caramelised Pears recipe...

Caramelised Pears in a dish with toasted flaked almonds

Also, don't forget you can sprinkle them on top of frozen desserts and fruit sundaes like I did with this very popular Christmas Sundae..

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