Almonds

Almonds have been cultivated for thousands of years. They are mentioned in the Bible, and, although their exact place of origin is unknown, it is believed that they came from Central Asia and then slowly spread to the Mediterranean lands. The ancient Greeks and Romans attributed them with many health-giving qualities, with almonds (preferably bitter) being served before a meal in the belief that they would prevent the party guests from getting drunk! Is this the origin of our habit to snack on nuts before we sit down to a hearty meal nowadays?

Almonds are full of proteins and an excellent source for calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and iron.  

The almond tree, which belongs to the peach family, is the first to blossom in the spring, and it needs warmth and rich soil to prosper. That is why the dry Mediterranean and Californian climates are ideal. There are two principal forms of almonds, the bitter and the sweet. Bitter almonds, which are cultivated in Sicily, Sardinia, South of France and North Africa, are used primarily for producing almond oil and flavouring, whereas sweet almonds are valuable for food and confectionery as well as medicinal purposes, being used to cure bronchial diseases, kidney disorders and bladder problems. California, followed by Spain, Portugal and Italy are the major producers of sweet almonds. 

They are an extremely versatile foodstuff. They may be added to nut roasts and as flaked almonds to fruit cakes and puddings; they can be used in salads and as decorations; toasted can be added to meat dishes or fish, while ground appear in marzipan, macaroons and tarts; almond milk makes delicious jellies and blancmanges or can be drunk as a substitute for cow’s milk; and if extra flavouring is needed almond oil has a light and delicate aroma. 


 

Nutrition Information

Typical valuesper 100g  
Energy 2522kJ 
     581kCal 
Proteins 21.9g44%*
Carbohydrate 19.9g15%*
    Total Sugars 5g 
Total Fat 50.5g 
    Saturated 3.9mg 
    Monounsaturated 32.2mg 
    Polyunsaturated 12.2mg 
Dietary Fibre 10.4g35%*
Sodium Trace  
Thiamin 0.2mg25%*
Niacin 3.9mg49%*
Riboflavin 0.8mg73%*
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%*
Folate 29mcg15%*
Vitamin E 25.9mg259%*
VitA 5IU 
Calcium 248mg50%*
Iron 4.3mg36%*
Magnesium 275mg92%*
Zinc 3.4mg34%*
Manganese 2.5mg125%*
Selenium 2.8mcg5%*
*RDA
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