Flour, Paste, Milk, Meal or Butter: It’s All About Almonds

For many Americans a serving of California almonds means a delicious snack filled with vitamins. But more and more almond fans are discovering that their favorite treat has been turned into products that are adding those same vitamins to a plethora of menu items.

Whether its almond flour for pastries, or almond butter on a slice of bread almonds have become culinary staple.

Here are a few other ways to enjoy almonds.

Almond Paste:

almond-paste

Marzipan, perhaps the most well-known, sweet dessert. is a combination of almond paste, sugar honey and eggs. The German holiday delicacy has long been a favorite of consumers all over the world. Often vanilla, orange, lemon or other spices are added to create a colorful and tasty display of macaroons. The ways that it can be used are so plentiful that in many cities there are whole stores devoted only to marzipan products.

But almond paste is also used as a filling in pastries and is often paired with chocolate. Almond paste allows bakers worldwide to make gluten-free desserts that are tasty, and nutritious.

Almond paste is also used in France for candy, forsweetheart cakes in China and as a sweet treat and in Turkey, where it was a favorite of royal families of the Ottoman Empire.

Almond Milk:

almond-milk

As more and more consumers discover they are lactose intolerant, almond milk has become a favorite substitute with cereal, or as a stand alone beverage. It can help with weight management since a cup contains fewer calories than a cup of cow’s milk, plus it contains no cholesterol which can clog arteries and damage your heart.

While almond milk does not provide the calcium of cow’s milk, it provides 25% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, helping your bones stay stronger and resist arthritis. Not to mention the healthy does of vitamin E, which improves skin health.

Almond milk does not affect your blood sugar, but it contains vitamin B for healthy muscles and fiber to reduce your appetite. Last but not least, it doesn’t require refrigeration so you can take it along on road trips. In addition you can make almond milk right in your own kitchen.

Almond Flour/Almond Meal:

almond-meal

Both almond flour and almond meal are ground almonds. But the flour in generally ground much finer and is usually made from blanched almonds (no skins). Which one you choose for your baking projects depends on the texture and consistency you want in the final product. Generally light and fluffy pastries or cake will call for flour, while cookies or breads which have a more substantial mouth feel, can be made with almond meal.

You may have to do some experimentation if you are using almond flour or meal as a substitute for traditional flour but the extra time and trouble is worth it.

Both can be found on store shelves where you can often find varieties made with organic almonds, but like almond milk, if you have a good quality food processor, you can make them at home, to get just the right consistency.

Either way, they add a little extra flavor, along with the same vitamins, minerals and protein that any almond product provides. Plus your final treat will be gluten free.

Almond Butter:

almond-butter

Some experts have called Almond butter “a dieters best friend” because it does not contain a lot of carbohydrates but supplies a lot of healthy fats to keep you satisfied.

Many nutritionists recommend using almond butter in your morning smoothie, since the added fiber will keep you feeling full for hours. Of course, you can also use it as a spread, or dairy butter substitute.

If you have a bit of patience for trial and error, you can make your own almond butter at home. It’s cheaper than the brands sold in most stores and making it in your own kitchen allows you to be certain of the quality especially if you use organic almonds.

Here is one almond butter recipe you can make in your own food processor.

American Export House supplies California organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the world. For more information contact AEH.

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