Going Nuts for Almonds: Throughout History, Almonds Have Been Lauded for Their Delicate Flavor, Great Crunch, and Legendary Healthful Properties

The Saturday Evening Post, March-April 2007 | Go to article overview

Going Nuts for Almonds: Throughout History, Almonds Have Been Lauded for Their Delicate Flavor, Great Crunch, and Legendary Healthful Properties


Almonds are believed to be one of the world's oldest cultivated foods. A valuable commodity on the "Silk Road" between Asia and the Mediterranean, almonds served as sustenance for explorers and were even mentioned in the Old Testament and records of ancient Greece.

For thousands of years, people have touted the benefits of almonds. Today health experts concur. Consider that a one-ounce, 160-calorie serving of almonds--about a handful--offers an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber, in addition to monounsaturated fat, protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron.

Nuts also demonstrate powerful heart-healthy effects--a prime consideration for people with diabetes when heart disease remains a major risk factor. In a clinical trial published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, men and women who ate one daily ounce of almonds for a month lowered their LDL cholesterol by 4.4 percent.

Routinely consuming almonds can also help you lose, or maintain, weight. A 2003 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that adding a daily ration of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhanced weight loss.

Bring home the nutritious, nutty flavor of almonds with these appetizing almond recipes fresh from the Post test kitchen.

GRILLED FISH WITH ALMOND
SKORDALIA

(Makes 6 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, plus
  sprigs to garnish
Salt (optional) and pepper to taste
6 firm fish fillets such as grouper, monkfish
  of halibut (about 3 pounds)
Almond Skordalia (recipe below)
Kalamata or oil-cured black olives to
  garnish (optional)

Preheat grill to medium-high. Whisk together
olive oil, lemon juice, and minced
parsley. Season with salt (optional) and
pepper. Place fillets in baking dish and
brush all over with mixture. Grill fillets
8-12 minutes, depending on thickness,
until no longer translucent. Serve fish
with Almond Skordalia and garnish
with parsley sprigs and olives, if desired.

Almond Skordalia:

1/3 cup slivered almonds
  3 peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  Fresh lemon juice to taste
3/4 cup herbed breadcrumbs

Combine almonds and garlic in food
processor or blender until smooth
paste forms. Add mayonnaise, olive
oil, and lemon juice, and blend until
smooth. Transfer mixture to bowl and
stir in breadcrumbs.

Per Serving:
Calories: 434         Protein: 46 gm
Cholesterol: 126 mg   Sodium: 609 mg
Carbohydrate: 14 gm   Dietary Fiber: 1 gm
Total Fat: 21 gm      Saturated Fat: 3 gm
Monounsaturated Fat: 9.8 gm
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.4 gm

WILD RICE RISOTTO WITH
ALMONDS & SPRING
VEGETABLES

(Makes 4 servings)

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable
  broth
Salt to taste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
  3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  2 cloves garlic, minced
  1 leek (white and light green part only),
    trimmed and diced
  1 cup brown rice
  1 cup wild rice
1 (2 1/4 oz. 

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Going Nuts for Almonds: Throughout History, Almonds Have Been Lauded for Their Delicate Flavor, Great Crunch, and Legendary Healthful Properties
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