Almond Joy

Every so often for this blog, I get emailed about writing up on a specific topic for health and most of the time (unfortunately) I graciously decline due time constraints or the topic does not really interest me.  However recently, an email came through about writing on all the health benefits and different ways to use almonds and almond products.  After thinking about it, I said yes because of all the different ways we use almonds in my house alone.

Almonds, just like almost every other nut, are a great snack packed with a lot of punch.  Almonds are a great source of fat, protein, fiber and vitamin E and are delicious and can be easily stored anywhere.  I feel nuts in general get a bad wrap because of the high fat content and most of us are led to believe that high fat is bad and fat is what makes you fat.    Yes they are high in fat but it also a good fat which will help us feel fuller, gives us more energy and helps with the dreaded sugar crash which happens after eating a high sugar processed snack.  Almonds help maintain your blood sugar, are a great source of protein and help lower your cholesterol.  They really are a great snack which can be taken anywhere and eaten almost anytime whether it be at the office or traveling in your car.  I get a lot of my calories from fat and probably eat around 2 to 3 generous handfuls of nuts almost every day.  I am not worried about the fat content or the calories and you should not be as well.  I would rather you all eat a couple of handfuls of nuts to fill you up so you are not still hungry and then resort to making bad choices later.  I would rather you eat more of the stuff that is good for you then a little of the stuff that is bad for you.  Just like I tell my training clients ” eat as much vegetables as you want, fill up on them.”  Its okay to snack on them a couple of times a day and also to incorporate them into your meals as well.

There are different ways to use almonds and the byproducts of almonds as well such as almond flour, almond meal, almond butter and almond milk.  My wife has adopted into my paleo eating lifestyle and has found great ways to use almond meal and almond flour for lots of tasty, healthy treats.  Almond flour pancakes are fantastic, primal fudge is amazing and paleo breakfast bread is very delicious as well.  My most favorite way of enjoying almonds comes in the form of almond butter.  Before I moved, I use to eat about a jar a week of this nutritious and delicious butter.  I would eat it with almost anything and found it rather enjoyable.  I would eat it with fruit such as a banana or apple, I would put in on my almond pancakes, I would eat it with some greek yogurt and I would put in with my smoothies I would make as well.  I could not and can not get enough of it and I have gotten so use to it I don’t miss the taste of regular peanut butter.  One of the greatest things about almond butter is if you find a good one, is the ingredient list: almonds and salt.  Thats it and thats all it should say.  If you were to look at the back of a jar of Skippy or Jiff you will find sugar and hydrogenated oils which are not only bad for you but just aren’t natural.  Almond butter wins hands down for its naturalness alone.  Another way we use almonds in this house is with almond milk for my kids.  I read something a long time ago that has stuck with me ever since and its that we are the only species who drinks milk from another species.  Think about it, why do we drink cows milk?  Milk is only used to help provide nutrients and calories to the infants to grow until they are capable of finding and eating on their own.  It should be the same for our children as well.  In order to give my kids some extra healthy calories I turn to almond milk and they love it.  We use a lot of almond and almond products in our house and I think most of us should look into it as well.

Almonds are definitely a healthier option to choose from, are energy dense and packed with lots of good nutrients that will help fight hunger craves and lead us to making great decisions throughout our day.  Here is some more information on these great little brown orbs:

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For more information on all your nut needs check out nuts.com.  Thanks and have a wonderful almond filled day.

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