A long history in cooking
Almond oil has been used for thousands of years in recipes, both in sweet and savoury dishes.
Today, it has become an essential ingredient in French and Italian baking, despite being originally from West Asia.
Native to North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian sub-continent, humans have been cultivating the nut of the almond tree since at least the Bronze Age.
Being native to the Middle East, the tree is mentioned a lot in the bible, usually as a warning. That’s because the wild-growing version of the almond tree produces deadly hydrogen cyanide after crushing or chewing!
Today, California produces 70% of the world’s almonds, making them one of the United State’s top 10 food exports.
Using almonds in recipes
Obviously, almonds can be eaten raw as all nuts can, but when used in cooking, they’re given a new lease of life.
The sweet flavour of almonds and a delicious twist to desserts, salads and main dishes. Roasted almonds are enjoyed all over the world, while blanched almonds are also popular.
Almonds can come sliced or whole, can be ground up into flour, or even come in the form of butter and milk.
It’s this incredible diversity that makes almonds so good for cooking, adding a unique flavour that can transform ordinary dishes into something magical.
One thing is for sure, once you start using almonds in your recipes, it will be hard to stop.
The incredible health benefits of almonds
As well as being delicious, almonds are great for your health!
An excellent source of vitamin E, fibre, protein, almonds are generally considered the most nutrient-packed of the tree nuts, and contain as much calcium as milk.
Almonds and weight loss
Almonds are high in fats (like most nuts), but around 10 to 15 per cent of the calories in nuts are not absorbed, meaning people can snack on them but not take in as many calories as expected. Munching on a bag of almonds is better than munching on a bag of crisps!
Great for your brain
Packed with Vitamin B12 in the form of riboflavin and niacin, almonds are primed to actively prevent cognitive decline, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and other causes of dementia.
Fights heart disease
Your heart will thank you for eating almonds too. They are high in monounsaturated fats, which lower the “bad” type of cholesterol. 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.
Good for diabetics
Almonds are low in sugar, making them great for diabetics to snack on without having to worry. They are also high in magnesium, an essential mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar control. Just a few almonds in the morning can help regulate blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.
Packed with antioxidants
Many studies have found that eating nuts daily can help reduce the risk of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate. This is due to the antioxidant effect on fighting free radicals, dangerous molecules which float around the body and attach themselves to your DNA, altering them at a molecular level.
Healthy skin and hair
As we mentioned before, almonds are one of the most nutrient-packed foods available. They’re a healthy source of Vitamin E, which helps to protect the connective elastin and collagen fibres within your skin cells, making them healthier looking and feeling. 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.
Our secret weapon
Instead of using the usual cooking oils, why not go for something a little bit different?
A light, golden oil with an almond flavour, Olivado’s Extra Virgin Sweet Almond Oil is perfect for baking and desserts, as well as a base for dressings and marinades.
Our cold-pressed oil preserves all the goodness of raw almonds, particularly the high Vitamin E content which is so important for skin care.
If you would like to know more about us or our award-winning cooking oils, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.