The Joy of Almonds. Five Fun Facts!

Almonds

Well stuff my cheek pouches and call me Nutty! I am on a super almond kick lately. Like. Super. Now that I’m Little Miss Hansons Method and am ramping up marathon training, I find that they are the perfect snack to stash away in my purse, gym bag, car, desk, mailbox- wherever- for whenever a Serious Snack Attack strikes. Which for me lately, is practically every hour. I don’t have to tell you about Tina and nuts. Ever since that time she turned into Sherman Klump before running the Philadelphia Marathon, I’ve sort of forbid her to eat any nuts near me. Which means ALL THE NUTS for Colby. Now that’s a friend. 🙂  The happy folks over at nuts.com inspired us to write a piece on almonds. I couldn’t wait to chomp right down on it..

I guess they figured we were health nuts.
*pause*
{She’ll be here all night! Tip your server!}

I slay me.

Here are 5 Fun Facts About My Favorite Powerful Little Nut, The Almond!

  1. Peaches and almonds are cousins.  Shocker, right?!?!? Who knew! The nut that we eat (in my case, by the fist full) is the hard-shelled fruit of the almond tree. Think of it like a stone fruit. Cherry, plum, peach….ALMOND. Mind. Blown.
    Behold! Young almonds. Photo: Wikipedia

    Behold! Young almonds. Photo: Wikipedia

     Mature Almond. Photo: Wikipedia

    Behold! Mature Almond. Photo: Wikipedia

  2. Almonds are some of the lowest-calorie nuts around. YAHOO!  Almonds pack 160 calories, 9 grams of mono-unsaturated, heart-healthy fats, 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving. And, they’re LOADED with the antioxidant vitamin E.  That’s E for EXCELLENT. Go Almonds! They’re about neck and neck with pistachios and cashews in the calorie department. Eat ’em in moderation folks. They’re easy to binge on. RHOBH Brandy
  3. Almonds were used as a Fertility Charm.  In ancient Rome, newlyweds were showered with ‘em. LIGHTBULB. So THAT’S why at every single Italian baby shower or bridal shower I’ve ever gone to, there are little tulle pouches of almonds- Jordan Almonds specifically!!
    5 Jazzy Almonds. Photo: Pinterest.

    5 Jazzy Almonds. Photo: Pinterest.

    Total ah-ha! moment here! Traditionally, five Jordan Almonds are wrapped in tulle and tied with a ribbon.  And usually, at least in my Italian circles, there are usually 5 in a bag.  According to my very shallow internet reseach, the 5 almonds represent happiness, health, wealth, fertility and long life. They’re given in an odd number to represent the indivisibility of the marriage bond. Why fertility? Because those little guys are egg shaped. Awww. I once chipped my tooth biting into a Jordan Almond at a bridal shower. But. I still love them.

  4. Almonds are considered BRAINFOOD. Smarty pants! I’m guessing they’re considered healthy brain food because they are rich in healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin B6 and in the anti-oxidant, vitamin E. The 3 of which are thought to improve brain health.  Raw almonds are loaded with omega-3s. Eat up. And before you know it, you’ll be doing the New York Times crossword with a pen. (One of us does already. Hint: It’s Tina, not me.)

    Photo: Nuts.com

    Photo: Nuts.com

  5. Almonds are delicious. Duh. Especially in granola. And super especially if you make your own. Which is a snap. Just ask the Barefoot Contessa. I really dig this recipe- Cherry, Almond, Coconut, Oats, Honey…..DELISH. Use tart cherries and you’ll be rocking the whole Super Food Thing. Don’t like apricots?  Ditch ‘em. It’s your Almond Granola. You do you. That’s the beauty of homemade. Yum.
Photo: Food Network

Photo: Food Network

Homemade Granola. Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup good honey
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup small diced dried figs
  • 1 cup dried (tart) cherries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

 Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  •  Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.
  •  (Inspired by Sarah Chase’s Open House Cookbook.)

What’s your favorite nut? How often do you snack while marathon training? Do you do the crossword puzzle with a pen?

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28 thoughts on “The Joy of Almonds. Five Fun Facts!

  1. Colby. I LOVE almonds and have a handful daily. Great for the heart as well. If salt isn’t an issue…. Try the tamari roasted. Bliss

  2. I used to eat almonds all the time.!! haven’t as much lately though. I do love them though.!! only complain I have about them is that they’re too expensive.! but I guess they are worth the price 🙂

  3. I love almonds, but pistachios are my absolute favorite. I snack constantly, even more so when I’m training… Crossword with a pen!? So bold… I’m all about the pencil : )

  4. I love almonds as well, but a sad fact is that they’re mostly grown in California and use a TON of water to grow. That’s one of the reasons they’re getting so expensive. My favorite nut is the pecan. Since they grow here, I grew up on them. Can’t beat pecan pie!

  5. My favorite nuts? Pistachios, ballpark peanuts, pecan pies and ice cream, cashews (every now and again) and Hershey bars with almonds. Not necessarily in that order. As far as training goes, it’s all good. I tend to imitate a vacuum three times a day. For snacks? Chewy Sprees! 😜

  6. One of the upsides to Atkins is most nuts are ok 🙂 I have almonds or pistachios for snacks depending on my mood. Right now I am loving almonds. Randomly, my parents house was built on an old almond orchard and there are a few remaining trees. Their dog finds the hard shells off the tree and can shell them, eat the the almonds and leave the shell behind. The vet thinks its hilarious.

  7. Fun Fact! I still eat almonds! All the time! I blame the “Philly incident” on cross-contamination in the bag of almonds or something in the damn Larrabar (prob Macadamias). I have never had a reaction after eating almonds outside of Philly (see previous sentence). They are awesome and delicious and portable. Also love pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews. Hate brazil nuts – so bitter – and hate nuts of any kind in a candy – it’s straight up or not at all for me.
    Crosswords and pens. Did you even need to ask? Haven’t you seen me ignore friends and family when the Sunday NY Times is delivered? Only in ballpoint, though, never inkball or flair. I hate when it leaks through and makes it hard to read the article on the back page.
    I snack a lot while marathon training. Hungry, hungry, girl when those miles are adding up.

    • I know you do. However please don’t eat them in front of me. I’ll need therapy. And rehab.

      Yes. I am in constant AWE of your crossword prowess. And your ability to tune everything out.

      That’s my girl. Xoxo

  8. Who knew about jordan almonds?! It totally makes sense now–they are literally at every baby shower and many bridal showers. And all this time I thought that it was because of their pretty colors…

  9. I was randomly eating mocha flavored almonds when I started reading this post. My hubby can’t stand almonds of any kind but he is kind enough to pick them out of his trail mix and give them to me because I love them. They are by far my favorite nut. Good to know that I’m at least making good choices even if they’re by accident!

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