Um. So, Almonds aren't really nuts! Who knew?

Fun factoid:  Almonds aren't actually nuts... they are called drupes (like a coconut) which are a type of fruit that has an "outer fleshy part that surrounds a pit (or stone), with a seed inside this pit."   If you are a visual person, like myself, check out these photos.  

 Seriously, though.  All this time, calling almonds nuts... and the love affair I have for almonds are quite strong.  We are talking WAY past first names... I call them "Al".   

(scenario)

me:  hon.  can you grab me a couple of Al for the road, I may get hungry. 

hubs:  um... what the heck is Al?  are you trying to be cute? 

See.  Way past first names.  Anywho.

My love for almonds has grown tremendously over the years... since I have learned all the benefits these little powerhouses hold.  I use a wee bit of almond milk as a creamer for my morning cup of Joe... dab a spoonful in my daily superfoodie smoothie for a wee bit of sweetness... and even, crush them up for a nice coating on chicken.  The love-affair is a strong one... but enough about me gushing, let's get down to it!

almond .jpg

How do you select Almonds? 

  • opt for raw almonds... consistency with color and none that are shriveled or discolored
  • there should be a sweet nutty smell

How do you store Almonds? 

  • we keep our almonds in an airtight container (aka. mason jar) in the pantry... it's dry + way from direct sunlight 

What are the benefits of Almonds?  

The more I learn about almonds, the more I fall in love with them.  Here's a few of the amazing benefits: 

  • Strengthens hair, nails and skin
  • May help lower cholesterol
  • Balances blood sugar 
  • May help lower cholesterol 
  • Antioxidant properties
  • May help curb your cravings  + overeating 

You can check out some more benefits here, if you'd like!  

Almonds give your body antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids that combat stress and are anti-aging.
— Darin Olien
makeup brushes.jpg

How do you use Almonds in your beauty regimen? 

Honestly.  When writing this blog, I almost "skipped" this question.  Seriously, though...  "almonds in my beauty regimen, how in the heck?"  Buttttttttttt... then I realized, I do use almonds in my beauty regimen.  Well, it's almond oil.  That counts, right?  Almond oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the sweet almond tree (thank you, Essential Oils book!).   Almond oil is suitable for most skin types... it's gentle enough for sensitive skin! 

Goodness of Almond Oil: 

  • Natural moisturizer - helps soothe dry, irritated skin
  • Gentle oils - even heard it can be used to treat diaper rash 
  • Excellent make-up remover 
  • Treats chapped lips

Need a few more bits about the goodness of Almond Oil, check it out here


Now. Here's a sweet DIY eye-makeup remover recipe I found... about a year or two ago.  BUT, it was also spotted on JH's website, so I thought... "why not give her some credit?"  So.  Here you go, love!

ALL NATURAL EYE MAKEUP REMOVER 

by Julianne Hough

GROCERIES: 

  • 2 Tbsp witch hazel (you can even use lavender or rose petal)
  • 2 Tbsp natural almond oil 
  • 2 Tbsp water (filtered water is suggested)

NOW WHAT?

  1. Add all ingredients to your container dispenser. Bonus points:   if you re-use bottle you already have... we tend to use mason jars for everything.  
  2. Shake up ingredients.
  3. Swipe over closed eyelids with clean fingers, a moistened cotton ball or makeup pad.

NOTE:  it's recommend to test the remover on the inside of your wrist overnight before putting on your eyes - be on the safe side! And... most likely will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container placed in the fridge!

almonds.jpg

What is your favorite recipe with Almonds? 

Now.  There are a few good recipes with almonds... primal granola... almond butter cookies... fat bombs... almond milk, etc.  But, my favorite has to be a homemade crunchy almond butter.  

When we started our health journey, I asked a lot of friends for an almond butter recipe... and this was by far the best one!   I can not even take credit... I won't!  Michelle T., love, THIS is your recipe... you shared with me on social media through a text message a few years back.  It's delicious... and one we whip up quite often in our house.  Since, we eat almond butter pretty much daily!  

Seriously, though.  It's über delicious!  You can add honey or maple syrup to the nut butter for added sweetness, but I rarely find that necessary this is so yummy!  I also love to have a more "crunchy" texture to my nut butter so I save 1/4 cup of almonds to add at the end.

NOTE:  Michelle had to warn me beforehand... so I am warning YOU.  This recipe will take some patience, but it will turn into a nut butter... a delicious almond butter, but be PATIENT!

HOMEMADE ALMOND BUTTER   

GROCERIES

  • pound of raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts (optional, but highly recommended)
  •  1/2 tsp of sea salt
  •  1 tsp of cinnamon

NOW WHAT?

  1. On low broil, toast the almonds and macadamia nuts for ~4 minutes. NOTE: make sure to toss the nuts every few minutes so the nuts do not burn.
  2. Once the nuts are toasted, place them in a food processor. NOTE: if you like "crunchy" nut butter (like I do), then leave 1/4 of the almonds out at this time.
  3. Turn the food processor on high and add in the salt as well as the cinnamon. This will blend for a long time, please make sure to scrap the sides with a spatula intermittently. NOTE: you will need some serious patience, but it will turn into a nut butter.
  4. When the nut butter is blended to the texture you desire, place in a storage container and refrigerate.  NOTE: If you left some of the almonds out initially, place them in the food processor and lightly pulse. Once you get the almonds to the chunk size you desire, then stir almonds into the nut butter. Place the nut butter into a storage container and refrigerate.  

I realize there are A LOT of notes on this recipe... but it mainly just matters if you like crunchy OR creamy almond butter.  Obviously, crunchy is the way to go ;) hehehe!

milk.jpg

Please check back for further recipes from our kitchen using almonds... until then, here are a few of our family faves! 


Other

Sources

  1. Website: http://www.superlife.com/almonds-health-benefits-packed-vitamins-minerals-protein-fiber/
  2. Website: www.spartan.com
  3. Website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/almonds-are-not-nuts_us_582b536be4b0aa8910bd21be
  4. Website: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-soaked-almonds-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref
  5. Website: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-almond-oil-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref
  6. Book:  Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr
  7. Book: Essential Oils:  All-Natural Remedies and recipes for your mind, body, and home

    If you have any tidbits about almonds, then share below or shoot me an email, I'd love to learn more.  Because the more you know... the more you grow!  Until then...

    love + gumption.

    a.