Friday, April 23, 2010

Assignment Leftovers: Aaaahhh-Almonds

As I regularly write about food, not all the really cool information I gather gets put into the articles, so I figure, why not share it with you? This installment of Assignment Leftovers comes from several articles I've done for trade magazines regarding nuts.

I love almonds!

Ok… full disclosure: For the most recent article, I did get samples of the new snacking California Almonds from Mariani Nut Company and have been using them since - which inspired me to write this article.

But, I've loved almonds for longer than I've been writing about food professionally.


They taste good. I loved almonds in candy, first, and then in trail mix, and then in savory dishes - like korma and some Thai dishes. When I first covered almonds as an export product in 2006, I had a few companies send me snacking almonds. Also most excellent!

In any case, I learned that almonds are also ridiculously healthy - the healthiest tree nut you can eat, actually. They have a shelf life of up to 2 years because of all the antioxidants in them, which make them great for your heart. Almonds also provide calcium, niacin, vitamin E, riboflavin, and iron. Additionally, they are an excellent source of fiber and protein.

Also, for you local-vores, California is the best place to get almonds. In fact, the one state provides for 80% of the world's almond consumption!

You can look up more nifty health facts at, which is the website for the California Almond Board.

Almonds make a great snack to grab for any dieter because they are filling and low in saturated fat. They are also a great ingredient in all sorts of dishes… and since I am attempting to eat healthier (and exercise more), yet still quite a dessert and snack fiend, I was extra pleased with the arrival of more almonds.

In fact, I used them for dessert tonight. Here's my healthy dessert:

1 handful of the Mariani All Natural Almonds
1 handful of Kashi cereal
1 container of Chobani honey-flavored Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp rice milk or soy milk
4 strawberries


2 sundae glasses

Crush up the almonds, add the cereal, crush some more.
Dollop a small bit of yogurt in the bottom of each sundae glass
Add a little less than a quarter of the crushed nut and cereal mix atop the yogurt, split the tablespoon of rice or soy milk over that. (All the Kashi cereals really need some extra liquid, and the Greek yogurt is a little too dense/thick to soften the cereal).
Split half of the remaining yogurt between the two cups, covering the cereal.
Slice one strawberry into each sundae cup (preferably the larger two strawberries.
Split the remaining crushed nut and cereal mix atop the strawberries.
Split the remaining yogurt atop the cereal
Quarter the other two strawberries and arrange them on top of the yogurt with a single whole almond.
If you've got crumbs of the cereal left, sprinkle those over the top.

Serving tip: Prepare at least an hour before you plan on eating so the cereal can soak up any liquid and soften.



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