5 Reasons to Eat Almonds (Plus Recipes!)

The Middle East-native nut is a delicious, nutritious star.

Vitamin E
Almonds are among the best sources of this fat-soluble antioxidant with 20 or so providing roughly 37 per cent of the recommended daily intake (RDI). Healthy levels of vitamin E have been shown to prevent cognitive decline, boost alertness and preserve memory longer. And higher intake has been associated with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds are also high in magnesium with the same 20 or so nuts providing almost half the RDI (310-420 mg). Among many other functions, magnesium is important for blood sugar regulation. Correcting a deficiency of the mineral in people with Type 2 diabetes—as many as 38 per cent were found to have one—can lower blood sugar and improve insulin function. Addressing a deficiency can also lower blood pressure significantly.

Eating 1-2 handfuls of almonds a day was shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while maintaining HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, almond skins are high in polyphenols (antioxidants) that help protect against LDL oxidation (damage) involved in heart disease.

Nuts are low-carb but high in protein and fibre—both known to help you feel full. One study in fact showed that eating 43 grams (a cup or so) of almonds each day significantly reduced hunger. There is also evidence that nuts can boost metabolism and increase weight loss.

A 2015 Dutch study determined that people (aged 55-69) who ate a handful of nuts each day were less likely to die from cancer among other disease. And a University of California study found that almond consumption in particular may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Recipes made with almond milk

Key Lime Pie Smoothie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Almond Breeze® Unsweetened Vanilla
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh baby spinach
3 tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest
5 ice cubes
Lime wedges (optional)
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted shredded coconut (optional)

In blender, combine Almond Breeze, avocado, spinach, maple syrup, lime juice, lime zest and ice; purée until smooth.

If desired, rim 2 glasses with fresh lime and dip into toasted coconut.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1/2 recipe: Calories 190, Fat 8g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 150mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Fibre 2g, Sugars 20g, Protein 2g


Sweet Potato Hummus
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
3 shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup (125 mL) Almond Breeze® Vanilla
1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each paprika and ground cumin
Carrot and celery sticks
Whole grain crackers

Toss together sweet potato, shallots, garlic, 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the olive oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet; bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Let cool.

In food processor, purée sweet potatoes, shallots, garlic, chickpeas, Almond Breeze, tahini, remaining olive oil, remaining salt and pepper, paprika and cumin until smooth. Sprinkle with extra paprika before serving if desired.

Serve with carrot and celery sticks, and whole grain crackers.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1/12 recipe:Calories 150, Fat 9g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 210mg, Carbohydrate 14g, Fibre 3g, Sugars 2g, Protein 4g

Note: nutrition information is for the hummus only and does not include vegetables or crackers.


Creamy Cilantro-Lime Avocado Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Yield: 1 1/3 cups (325 mL)

2/3 cup (150 mL) Almond Breeze® Unsweetened Original
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1 green onion, sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh cilantro
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lime zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt, freshly ground pepper and ground cumin

Dressing: In blender, combine Almond Breeze, olive oil, avocado, green onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper and cumin; blend until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Tip: For a thinner consistency of dressing, add an additional 1/2 cup (125 mL) Almond Breeze® Unsweetened Original.

Nutrition Facts
Per 2 Tbsp. / 30 mL: Calories 40, Fat 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 75mg, Carbohydrate 1g, Fibre 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 0.4g


Red Thai Coconut Risotto
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

2-3 leeks, sliced and divided (about 2 cups)
946 mL Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original
1-2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon dried unsweetened coconut
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 red and/or yellow sliced bell peppers
1 ½ cups Arborio or Italian style rice
1 bunch chopped basil

In a large pot over medium high heat, combine about half of the leeks, Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original, Thai paste and dried coconut. Bring to a boil and add chicken breast to poach and reduce heat to a low boil for 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, warm coconut oil and sauté remaining half of the leeks, garlic and peppers for 5 minutes or so to sweat. Stir in brown rice to coat for 1 minute.

Add Almond Breeze/chicken mixture to rice pot one cup at a time and stir in.

Turn rice pot to low, cover and allow to cook through for about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir often until all liquid is absorbed. If the rice absorbs too quickly, add some chicken broth or wine to create a creamy dish. Garnish with a generous heap of basil.

Nutritional Facts
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 325 Calories; 5g Fat (12.9% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 188mg Sodium


Fettuccine with Creamy Mushroom Ragu
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

12 oz (375 g) fettuccini
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb (500 g) mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 mL) Almond Breeze® Unsweetened Original
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

Cook fettuccini according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/3 cup (75 mL) pasta water.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook shallots and garlic for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Transfer half of the mushrooms to blender along with Almond Breeze, lemon juice and lemon zest; purée until smooth.

Stir mushroom purée into skillet with sliced mushrooms until combined; cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until heated through.

Add pasta and pasta water to skillet; cook for 2 minutes or until pasta is evenly coated and liquid has evaporated slightly. Divide evenly among 4 plates; garnish with parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1/4 recipe: Calories 470, Fat 9g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 210mg, Carbohydrate 78g, Fibre 5g, Sugars 8g, Protein 18g