Growing up in a European family, almonds were omnipresent. They are so often used in the cakes made that you easily acquire a taste for them. It was only in my adult years that I realised almonds can be made into a lush butter that opened up so many more possibilities for me.
Like anything, almonds work for some people and not for others. In our house I need to sneak them into a smoothie for my daughter to have any almond butter. She loves it but can be picky at times when it comes to textures. At Wattle we add almond flour and almond butter to our Keto waffle which surprises many but highlights just how versatile almonds can be.
In the case of our Almondnut Bliss Balls, we've worked to incorporate almonds with other amazing whole ingredients which together create a healthy and nutrient dense final product. You'll see me mention some of these terms often but I can't stress how important what you eat is to your body and your well being.
At Wattle, almonds are so important as we use them above all other nuts. We feel they add such an amazing flavour firstly and secondly amazing nutritional value. It turns out that our anecdotal evidence aligns with what has been established by the US Department of Agriculture who found that Almonds are the most popular nut in the US and has seen demand increase 400% since 1980. While these are an easy and tasty snack or addition to any meal, their health properties are a huge added advantage.
In 2020 the worlds largest grower of almonds was the US, producing over a million metric tons of almonds (according to statista.com). In fact 80% of the worlds almonds are grown in California. Almonds have an appeal the world over and have been mentioned anywhere from Greek mythology, to the Bible. It wasn't however until the early 1900's that California found success and cemented its importance in the almond industry.
Almonds are used at Wattle as they add so much nutritional value. As noted by Jenny Heap, a registered Dietitian with the Almond Board of California, "Ounce for ounce, almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin than any other tree nut." Almonds are low on the glycemic-index making them a healthy snack choice.
Like other nuts, almonds contain a fairly high amount of fat, with about 14 grams per one-ounce serving. Fortunately, about two-thirds of it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, according to The George Mateljan Foundation’s World’s Healthiest Foods website. You can liken this type of fat to the good fat found in olive oil.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that when foods independently known to lower cholesterol, such as almonds, are combined in a healthy way of eating, the beneficial effects are additive.
So remember, the next time you are in your local supermarket, try to seek out some almonds and see what amazing ways you can incorporate almonds into your meals at home.