Make Almonds Your New Best Friend!

Increasingly, one of my favorite foods that I eat a lot of as well as recommend to clients are almonds! Not only are almonds high in vitamin E, which has been proven to prevent cellular damage responsible for stress and reduce the risk of heart disease, but they also are asource of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folic acid and fiber.
Almonds are also high in antioxidants and arelow in saturated fats. One ounce of almonds (20-25 almonds) represents 12% of your daily allowance of protein, 35% of your daily allowance of vitamin E and as much calcium as a glass of milk!

If you are under a lot of stress and constantly on the go or want a plant-based
high-protein and nutrient-rich snack, almonds are the way to go! Grab a handful of almonds in the afternoon, give them to your kids as an afterschool snack, sprinkle them atop salads, put almond milk instead of cow’s or soy milk on your cereal or in your coffee and reap the benefits!

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

‘Candied’ Almonds (these are amazing atop salads or to just snack on. Bonus- kids love them!)
1-2 cups almonds
Agave nectar
Sea salt

Place your almonds in a big bowl. As a side note, if you have time and are inclined, soak the nuts up to approximately 4 hours, rinse and drain beforehand. Liberally douse the almonds with agave nectar and then sprinkle ½-1 teaspoon of sea salt on top. Place either in the oven (or dehydrator if you have one) and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool and enjoy! I usually keep these in the refrigerator, which hardens them a bit and extends their shelf life. My daughter loves these as an afterschool snack and they make a nice addition to salads!!!

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
1-2 cups of almonds
Vanilla beans (take beans out of the pod. if do not have beans, you can also substitute a non-alcohol vanilla extract)
Agave nectar
Nut bag or muslin needed (to strain milk from nut pulp)

If you have time and are inclined, soak the nuts up approximately 4 hours, rinse and drain beforehand.
Place almonds in a blender with an equal amount of water. Add the vanilla beans and a healthy squeeze of agave nectar and run approximately 2-5 minutes until well-blended. Any blender will do but I recommend a high-powered one like a Vitamix.

Take the nutbag or a colander with muslin on top and strain through squeezing the nut milk through like a ball. Delicious and you will never go back to store bought!

To watch how easy this is to make, go to How To Make Almond Milk.

Almond Coconut Berry Morning Muffins (use the leftover pulp from making almond milk!!!)
Almond pulp (from above)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Agave nectar
Dash of sea salt
Fresh berries
Optional: shredded carrot or zuchini

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Bake in muffin cups and enjoy for breakfast with some almond butter- yum!!!

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