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July 13, 2020 3 min read 0 Comments

Almonds, beloved by all

Almonds are one of the most beloved nuts in the world and one of the most widely cultivated nut trees.

Prunus dulcis originates from modern China and Central Asia and began to be domesticated during the Bronze Age. These tasty kernels are a close relative of plums, peaches, and apricots.

Throughout millennia, almond trees traveled via the silk road, first to the mediterranean sea and from there, to the four corners of the world.

They are at the base of the most refined dishes of the Persian cuisine, Louz, with saffron and rosewater. Almonds were the original delights for the Ottomans as well as the modern Turks.

Marzipan was first invented in the Middle East and conquered Europe as a beloved delicacy during the Middle Ages and it still is a staple of modern patisserie.

In Italy, almonds are given as a present to newlyweds as a wish of happiness and prosperity and can be enjoyed in the traditional drink "Latte di Mandorla”- literally "Almond milk".

Today almonds are as present as ever adding proteins and precious nutrients to a balanced diet.

 

Composition and nutritional values 

Water

Carbohydrates

Protein

Fat

4%

22%

21%

50%

Almonds are very rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and have relatively low quantities of polyunsaturated fats, resulting in relatively long shelf life.

They are equally rich in monounsaturated fats and folic acid believed to play an important role in cardiovascular health.

They constitute a nutritionally dense food, providing a rich source of the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, vitamin E, and the essential minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Almonds are a moderate source (10–19% DV) of the B vitamins thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate, choline, and the essential mineral potassium.

They also contain substantial dietary fiber, monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, and the polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid. Typical of nuts and seeds, almonds are a source of phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, sitostanol, and campestanol

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond

Directions

  1. If roasting: Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.
  2. Place the almonds in a thin layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 10 minutes, or until they start to smell delicious.
    You can decide how dark you want the roast by tasting one from time to time. Keep in mind that the almonds will continue to roast for a few minutes while cooling down so always make sure to remove them from the over a bit before they have reached the desired roasting point. Let the roasted almonds cool completely.
  3. Grind the roasted (or raw) almonds by pulse-crushing them in a Mixer-Grinder/Cuisinart for approximately 1 minute. You should get a fine, wet sand-like, almond flour.
  4. Start by adding ½ cup of almond flour into your Melanger. At first, the almond flour will be a thick paste with the tendency to stick to the roller stones and the bottom of the drum, don't worry about the build-up and carefully scrape the paste with the help of a scraper or spatula. In about 15 minutes in, you will notice the almond oil starting to be released and the paste starting to run smoothly. Over the next 30 minutes, slowly add the rest of the almond flour and let them refine for about 2h.
  5. Once you are pleased with the consistency of the spread, proceed with removing the contents of the drum. For optimal results, store the spread in sterilized, airtight glass jars.

Tips

Why is my almond paste looking dry?

Almond oil is stored inside the almond's cells and the friction between the stones will help to break the cell's structure, releasing the oil. This process can take from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the room temperature, ingredient temperature, humidity, and roasting profile. Roasted almonds will release their oil sooner than raw ones. Similarly, almonds with skin will have a higher percentage of fibers, meaning processing them will take slightly longer than blanched ones. To speed up the process you can gently increase the temperature with the help of a blow dryer or a heat gun never exceeding 140°F/60°C.

Why is there so much build-up on the wheels and center cone?

The almond flour will first become a thick paste before transitioning into a smooth butter, and during this stage, it can be quite sticky and build-up. Simply scrape it regularly until it will naturally be incorporated back, this shouldn't take longer than 20/30 minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS

Almond butter

100g

% Daily Value*

Total Energy

2405 kJ

576 kcal (Cal)

28.8%

Fat

49g

75%

Saturated fat

3.7g

18.5%

Carbohydrate

22g

7.3%

Dietary fiber

12g

48%

Sugars

3.9g

1.4%

Protein

21g

42%

Sodium

20mg

1%

Percent Daily values are based on a 2,000 kcal (Cal) diet for healthy adults. Calorie needs might vary according to age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level.

 



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