Originally from South West Asia, sweet almond oil has become an essential ingredient in French and Italian baking. Preferred over refined almond oil, our special cold pressed extraction method preserves all the goodness and benefits of raw almonds.
The native almond
The almond tree is native to North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, but when people think of almonds, they think of the fruit of that tree – the almond nut.
Being native to the Israel and Palestine area, the almond tree is mentioned a lot in the bible, and sometimes as a warning. The wild growing version of the almond tree produces deadly hydrogen cyanide after crushing or chewing.
Scientists think a genetic mutation at some point thousands of years ago, created the sweet type of almond we know today, and this separation allowed humans to start cultivating the tree at least as early as the Bronze Age.
Almonds are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. Settlers brought almond trees to America in the 1840s, but soon learnt that only California had the right climate to grow them commercially.
Today the state grows 70% of the world’s almonds, making them the seventh largest United States food export.
Cooking with almonds
While almonds can, of course, be eaten raw, they have a million and one uses in cooking. They come in many different forms, including whole, sliced, ground, can be made into almond flour, almond butter and almond milk, and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Roasted almonds are a favourite dish the world over, while blanched almonds are also popular. The slightly sweet flavour of almonds and distinct crunch add memorable flavour to desserts, salads, main dishes, and even candy.
Eaten whole on the side, or ground up and sprinkled over ice-cream, once you start using almonds in your recipes, it will be hard to stop.
Benefits of almonds
Considered the most nutrient-packed tree nut, almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, protein, fibre, and contain as much calcium as milk.
Almonds help you lose weight
Like all nuts, almonds are high in fats, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, about 10-15% of the calories in nuts aren’t absorbed. This allows people to snack on them and feel full, but not take in the calories expected.
Almonds help to prevent heart disease
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which have been proven to lower LDL Cholesterol, the bad type. In one study, subjects found a diet consisting of 20% calorie intake from almonds, lowered LDL cholesterol by an average of 12.4 mg/dl.
Almonds are great for your brain
Almonds are jam-packed with riboflavin and niacin, also known as vitamin B2. This is the only vitamin which is known to actively prevent cognitive decline. This reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and other causes of dementia.
Healthy skin and hair
As one of the most nutrient-packed foods available, almonds are a healthy source of Vitamin E, which helps to protect the connective elastin and collagen fibres within your skin cells. Almonds are also rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which promote healthy blood flow to the scalp. This, in turn, help make the hair strong, soft, and shiny.
Almonds help control blood sugar levels
Almonds are also high in magnesium, an essential mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar control. Diabetics are low in magnesium, and with 55 grams of almonds providing half your daily magnesium recommended intake, just a few in the morning can help control blood sugar levels.
Almonds are packed with antioxidants
Almonds are a terrific source of antioxidants, which help fight dangerous free radicals. Oxidative stress can cause cancer, and many studies have found that eating nuts daily can reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including colon, breast, and prostate.
Olivado’s extra virgin sweet almond oil
Back at the turn of the Millennium we pioneered the cold pressed extraction technique, which prevents key nutrients being lost in the oil extraction process.
Now used all over the world, this process preserves all the natural goodness of raw, unroasted almonds, which we capture in a bottle for home use.
Check out our range of delicious extra virgin oils here, or if you have any questions about Olivado, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Our friendly and helpful staff will be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.