Harvest of the Month: Almonds
Although they’re usually thought of as nuts, an almond is technically the seed of the almond tree’s fruit. They come in two types and are one of the world’s most nutritious and versatile foods. One type is mainly grown in California and has a soft shell, while the other type, mainly grown in Spain and Portugal, has a hard shell. Almonds have a great amount of antioxidants, can assist with blood sugar control and lowering cholesterol levels, and can even reduce hunger! They can be used in different forms, including almond flour and milk, for gluten and dairy-free substitutes.
How to Select
Almonds can be bought whole and shelled. Some will have the skins on them and some will not. You should purchase whole almonds rather than sliced for the freshest flavor. Aged almonds do turn rancid so make sure that the inside of the almond has a solid white texture throughout.
How to Store
Unopened packages of almonds can be stored in a cool and dark place for up to 2 years. Once you open packaged almonds, be sure to store them in a sealed container or airtight baggie. To make almonds last longer, store them in your refrigerator.
How to Prepare
Almonds can be eaten raw right out of the package as a snack or to top your salads! They can also be roasted in the oven with oils and spices to make a snack mix. Almonds soaked overnight in water can make almond milk and almonds ground finely can make a flour.