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. …