Almonds - The Gems Of The Super Food World!
Natural, unsalted almonds are an essential for all health seekers out there. As well as being delicious, they are incredibly nutritious and very easily incorporated into our daily diet. Just one handful of these little gems contains healthy and essential fats and proteins that our bodies need to function at an optimal level. They are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals to make our skin glow. Research has shown eating almonds regularly will help reduce abdominal and leg fat, promote heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes… Amazing news!!
Good Things Come In Small Packages!
Almonds are in so many of my favourite treats and snacks as ground almonds make a gorgeous alternative to flour. As I am writing this post I am snacking on some paleo banana bread that I made this morning. This incredibly versatile 'flour' can be used as a guilt free alternative in breads, pancakes and cakes as a gluten free, paleo, healthy option. You can make almond flour at home by putting your almonds in a food processor until fine. Alternatively you can find ground almonds or almond meal in most supermarkets and definitely in health food shops.
As I try and avoid dairy as much as possible, I use almond milk as a nutritious alternative. Good quality almond milk can be bought in Dublin health food shops such as Select Stores, Dalkey, The Punnet Health Store and Nourish. However, buying almond milk can be very expensive and a lot of these packaged varieties contain only a small percentage of almonds and are then diluted with water. To be sure you are getting the best quality produce and value for your money it is so much nicer to make homemade almond milk. Making your own almond milk is easy if you have a food processor, a powerful blender or even a nutribullet. The beauty of making this at home is that you can add your own flavours, my favourite flavour is honey and cinnamon but you could also use cacao, vanilla, agave, mint... Just writing this is giving me ideas!
Almond Milk Recipe
You can make almond milk using the following recipe which makes a 16oz serving.
4 oz of almonds
2 cups of filtered water
Optional: anything you want to add to give the almond milk a flavour
Step 1: Soak the almonds overnight, or longer depending on how creamy you would like the milk to be. The longer you soak them, the creamier it will be.
Step 2: Set up your blender or food processor and add your soaked almonds and 2 cups of filtered water. Blend for 2-4 minutes depending on the strength of the blender.
Step 3: Add any other ingredients to flavour the milk.
For really smooth milk use a cheesecloth or new, clean piece of material to drain the milk through. You can keep the left over almond pulp to add to smoothies or as a topping for oatmeal.
Healthy Snack Idea
This week try slicing an apple and having it with a hand full of whole almonds or almond butter. This is a great snack to eat after exercise as it is high in protein and will keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Katie Parsons is a nutritionist and yogi. She has developed an approach to eating that works for her body and makes her feel great. Follow her tips and you'll have a pep in your step before you know it!