The summer fruit
Over the years, almonds have proved their nutritional attributes, and socio-cultural importance. The nut's healthy properties won it a following for not just its delicate taste, but in various countries and regions of
for being auspicious and lucky. From Rome to Sweden and the US to India, almonds have been referred
to as symbol of fortune, happiness and health. Since the time when the Mughals popularised the fruit in India, almonds have been part of every Indian home's staple diet.
From a simple snack that can be munched anytime, to being the essential ingredient of many a delicacy, the almond has been the classic choice of food lovers for a good reason. For one, it enhances any dish it is added to. But more importantly, almonds by themselves can be an healthy option for the fitness conscious.
In fact, almond provides the body with many essential nutrients and can really help in summers when a lot of people cut back on heavy eating and so often fail to get the essential nutrients.
How can you use almonds?
Not surprising then, that this cool nut is a hit with most health conscious people in all seasons. Almonds are one of those rare fruits that are available through the year. For years now, almonds have been part of cool recipes and delicacies just right for the season. Simply toss in a handful of almonds into your every
day food and you add
crunch, great taste and natural nutrients.
According to Researchers at Tufts University in the United States, a 28 gram serving of almonds packs the same level of flavonoid antioxidants as a serving of cooked broccoli or a serving of brewed green or black tea. Just a handful or about 23 almonds can provide an individual with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, and iron. That too, all in just 160 calories!
There is nothing like a
g o o d
breakfast to kickstart the day. And yet, as calorie count gains prominence, the biggest challenge before most working Indians is perhaps finding the right option to start their day. Paranthas can be too filling and a glass of juice too light. So what do you do?
Grab of glass of fresh badam sheera or sharbat, which is healthy and provides you with just the right amount of calories required. Almond shakes are, of course, the perfect bet for people who prefer a cool shake or smoothie to a heavy meal. A handful of almonds thrown into your fruit shake – be it strawberry, mango or for that matter chocolate, can make the beginning to your day just right.
Summers are often the season when many people prefer to go the salad way. This is specially so for the increasingly weight watching generation that would rather have a large bowl of greens as against heavy paranthas.
To the left is a simple recipe for tasty almonds that you can add to your salads anytime, or just pop them as a healthy snack, all spiced up just for the Indian taste buds!
SWEET N SPICY ROASTED ALMONDS
One egg white; 15 ml water; 690 grams whole blanched almonds; 57 grams sugar; 10 grams ground cumin; five grams ground coriander; 10 grams coarse salt; seven grams ground red pepper
Preheat oven to 135 o Celsius. Line a sided sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk egg white and water together until foamy. Add almonds and toss to coat. Transfer almonds to a sieve, toss gently and let drain. Stir together sugar, cumin, coriander, salt and red pepper. Add almonds and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread almonds on the sheet pan in a single layer; bake for 30 minutes. Gently stir almonds. Reduce the oven temperature to 93 o Celsius and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until almonds are dry and nicely toasted. Set aside to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately or store airtight for up to one week.
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