Year round I’m nuts about almonds, they not only taste great but are loaded with nutritional value including high levels of essential vitamins, minerals and good fats. Enjoying their benefits in smoothies is just about as good as it gets when it comes to absorbing their nutrients.
Researchers have been touting the benefits of protein-rich almonds for some time now. Did you know that almonds contain more magnesium than oatmeal or spinach and are a fantastic source of calcium?
Snacking on nuts is a very healthy option. Not only are they low in carbs, almonds are gluten-free and promote good cholesterol balance in the body.
Almonds contain unsaturated, or "good" fats, which do not contribute to cholesterol levels and they’re a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids - a special type of fat, essential for our bodies that our body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3 essential fatty acids protect us against heart disease and help reduce LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels.
If you suffer from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema or psoriasis, eating almonds regularly will provide anti-inflammatory benefits which can be helpful to those conditions.
There are many benefits to eating almonds regularly, particularly when it comes to healthy skin. Rich in Vitamin E, an essential antioxidant and a vitamin that’s critical in the promotion of healthy skin, Almonds help to clear toxins and free radicals from your body so your skin becomes more radiant and glows with health.
Almonds are a great muti-pupose food. They can be eaten raw, ground into flour, whizzed into home-made nut butter or cooked in various dishes to add flavour and texture. Adding a nutty, buttery crunch to a variety of foods, Almonds can transform any dish including cereal, pasta, stir fries and curries. Almonds can also add crunch to a salad too.
Due to their fat content, nuts can go rancid quickly if not stored properly. It’s best to store nuts in an air-tight container. Sealed, they will keep at room temperature for up to a month, but in the fridge they’ll last for up to six months – great if you have bought your nuts in bulk. Dehydrating nuts prolongs their shelf life and they can be stored for up 12 months.
Adding nuts to smoothies creates an almond milk base that is packed full of protein, fibre and beneficial omega-3 essential fats and including berries will give it a naturally sweet taste and crank up the anti-oxidants.
If using raw almonds it’s a good idea to soak them over night this releases enzyme inhibitors so nutrient absorption will not be blocked. It's simple, just soak them in a bowl with filtered water and a pinch of sea salt.
Almond and Berry Smoothie
- ¼ cup raw or blanched almonds
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries blackberries strawberries etc)
- 1 cup filtered water
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free)
- Place almonds in a blender and add a quarter of the water
- Blend until a paste is formed
- Keep adding water until you have the consistency of almond milk you may need to add some extra water
- Drop in banana, fruit vanilla and cinnamon then blend until smooth
- Serve in a tall glass and enjoy
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