Do you love chocolate, especially with some almonds inside or a sweet crisp almond cookie? These snacks with almonds could be sure to be favorite snacks to many of us. For the taste and nutrients, it could be said that almonds in the list of nuts and seeds are such the powerful nuts to our menu.
Origin of almond
Almonds are edible seeds of almond trees of Prunus genus which is native to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and North Africa. It was unclear, but almonds were believed to be spread from Mediterranean to Africa and Europe then. There was no exact time for this journey, but it could begin from the ancient time.
There are many types of wild almond, and the domesticated type which could give the edible seed was selected from those wild types. In fact, the wild almonds are mostly bitter and some toxic. They could even cause fatal if be eaten. However, the almonds that we use as food is not toxic at all for it was selected and domesticated. But the reason why it could be known rightly to be cultivated for use is not clear. Perhaps it took time for the ancient presidents to experience to bring the true type to the agriculture. And the good result is till now, almonds are widely cultivated in many areas around the world and the seeds are also very popular in use too.
We are mostly familiar with almond nuts called, but it is actually kernel of a drupe. The outer of almond fruit is a thick, leathery flesh layer in grey-green color. It covers a hard woody shell with an edible seed inside. The seed is usually called nut. The almond nut is about 1.5 – 2 cm long, slight flat-shaped with one end is taper than the other. The nut is covered by a thin bright brown layer which could be removed to release the white nut.
The almond nuts need to be cooked before eating. They could be use whole or ground into flour to use in cooking and baking. They are also used to extract to oil.
Almonds as food
Almond nuts are the healthy nuts. They contain high level of nutrients which are useful to our health. Some of nutrients that could be counted are vitamin B, E, folate, choline, fiber, saturated fat, essential and numbers of minerals. For the benefits, these nuts whole seed and flour are used popularly in cooking and food industry. The nuts could also be used to produce types of snack directly with vary taste from natural, sweet to salted taste. The almond flour is also used to make sauces or delicious sweet recipes and baking, with one of very popular and famous type is macaron.