Almond is a shrub or small tree of the Plum genus. The plant has long been considered a symbol of marital happiness, fertility and prosperity. The birthplace of almonds is Asia. Every year the geography of growing this crop is expanding. Today, plantations of the plant are concentrated in Iran, Spain, Italy, the United States of America and Syria.
Interestingly, February 16 is World Almond Day in the United States. It is during this period that fragrant trees and shrubs of the plum family begin to bloom.
Almonds are very popular around the world. It is a source of B vitamins, tocopherols, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, which promotes the formation of new cells, improves the condition of teeth, hair, skin, normalizes metabolism, neutralizes free radicals, and stabilizes the state of the cardiovascular system. and hinder the development of cancer. The recommended daily allowance for almonds is 10 nuts.
Types and varieties
There are three varieties of almonds: thin-walled, bitter and sweet.
This is the most common species widely cultivated in Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, the Crimea, and the Caucasus. The shrub reaches 4 m in height, and the tree - up to 8 m, a characteristic feature of which is a lush openwork crown. The life expectancy of the plant reaches 130 years. Its flowers are large, white-pink. The leaves are narrow, pointed, saturated light green shade. The fruits are covered with a velvety peel and have a flattened configuration, inside there is a stone with an edible core. Flowering occurs in the last month of winter and lasts 2-3 weeks.
Varieties of common almond: brittle, sweet, bitter. This is the only species used in fruit growing. The most popular varieties include: White sail, Pink mist, Anyuta.
This almond grows in Central Asia, Siberia and the European part of Russia. It tolerates frost and drought well.
Steppe almond is a low shrub up to 1.5 m in height, has a dense spherical crown. Its leaves are marsh on top and light green below. The flowers of the plant are small, up to 3 cm in diameter, bright pink, collected in inflorescences. The flowering period falls on May and lasts 2-3 weeks. The fruits are covered with a light velvety skin, small (up to 2 cm in length), ripenin August-September.
The lifespan of a culture varies from 60 to 80 years.
Distributed in northern China. The height of the tree is 5 m, the crown is spreading, up to 1.5 m in diameter. Shoots are dark gray above and gray at the bottom. The leaves are green with a yellowish sheen. Flowers crimson, dark or bright pink. The flowering period falls on April-May and lasts up to 20 days. A distinctive feature of this plant is winter hardiness and unpretentiousness. It easily tolerates frosts up to 20 degrees.
It is found in Altai. This is a small shrub up to 2 m in height with large dark green leaves and light pink flowers, reaching 4 cm in diameter. The plant blooms in May, very fragrant. It begins to bear fruit no earlier than 11 years of age.
The birthplace of the shrub is the Western Tien Shan. This is a dwarf plant with a crown diameter of not more than 0.8 m and a height of up to 1 m. It bears fruit for 6 years of life. The fruits are red, covered with a velvety thick skin. In the cold season, the shoots of a dwarf shrub may freeze slightly.
Bitter almond contains amygdalin and a glycoside. Because of this, it poses a threat to the health of the body. Fifty nuts is a lethal dose for humans.
The nutritional value of almonds is 609 kcal per 100 g. According to the composition of fats, the kernels are classified as “nutritious” foods. A handful of nuts covers 140% of the body's daily requirement for monounsaturated triglycerides. 100 g of almonds contain 67% of the daily value of magnesium and phosphorus, 56% of riboflavin and 35% of niacin.
Nut pulp contains 35% healthy fats, and the rest is proteins and carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars.
|Components||Content per 100 grams of product, grams|
|Non-essential amino acids||10.38|
|Essential amino acids||10.34|
|Starch and dextrins||7.0|
|Mono- and disaccharides||6.0|
|Saturated fatty acids||5.0|
|Name||Content of nutrients in 100 grams of the product, milligrams|
|Ascorbic acid (C)||1.5|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.4|
|Folic acid (B9)||0.04|
Oil is produced from almond kernels, milk and flour, which are widely used infood, cosmetic industry, traditional medicine. The sweet nut is used salted, roasted and raw. It is put into the composition of confectionery products (cakes, cookies, cakes, ice cream), meat dishes and rice. Whole roasted almonds are used to decorate pastries, as well as enhance the taste of sweets and chocolate. Crushed is introduced into the composition of butter, ketchup, paste, jam, glazed curds and curd mass, to give products a nutty flavor and aroma.
Almonds on guard of health
Since ancient times, plant kernels have been used as a medicine to combat diseases of the intestines and the genitourinary system.
- Protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, resists premature aging of the body.
- Lowers sugar and insulin levels. Recommended for diabetics.
- Supports heart health. Cleanses blood vessels, neutralizes the risk of formation of cholesterol plaques.
- Prevents the development of osteoporosis.
- Prevents Alzheimer's disease.
- Purifies the blood, eliminates bile, removes sand from the kidneys.
- Increases resistance to stress, improves brain activity, helps to get rid of chronic insomnia.
- Stimulates the production of male hormones, enhances potency.
- Strengthens teeth, nails, improves hair growth.
- Prevents the development of neoplasms.
- Necessary for the proper formation of the neural tube of the fetus and placenta (for pregnant women).
- Opens blocked ducts in the spleen and liver.
- Relieves hangover symptoms.
Almond kernels serve as a natural analgesic. It is a natural anticonvulsant. In addition, the fruits of the shrub have an enveloping, choleretic and analgesic effect.
Sweet almonds are recommended for:
- slagging of the body;
- potency problems;
- bronchial asthma;
- developmental delay;
- numbness of arms and legs;
Kernels relieve attacks of severe coughing, lower the acidity of gastric juice.
Harm to the body
Almonds are a high-calorie product. peoplethose who are overweight should refrain from eating nuts, as they can quickly and imperceptibly increase body weight. In addition, unripe almonds are strictly forbidden to be eaten by all categories of people, since they contain toxic cyanides that are incompatible with life.
- high heart rate.
Almond seed contains 40-60% oil, depending on the variety and growing conditions of the plant. It is obtained by cold pressing.
Composition of almond oil:
- amygdalin glycoside;
- tocopherol, riboflavin;
- protein substances;
- bioflavonoids ;
- mineral compounds: zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, iron;
- linoleic acid (16-25%);
- oleic acid (65-83%).
Almond oil is a versatile product. Currently, it is used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. It works more effectively than olive oil. It is taken orally to reduce the level of cholesterol and the acidity of gastric juice, to eliminate flatulence.
Externally, almond oil is used to treat solar, thermal burns, minor injuries, and improve skin condition. In addition, warm compresses are prepared on its basis to relieve pain in the ears. For better absorption, the product is preheated to 36-40 degrees.
Almond oil has laxative, soothing, emollient, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, regenerating and wound healing properties.
The product is used in cosmetology for the care of dry, flabby, normal and tired facial skin.
Folk beauty recipes
- For nutrition, refreshing the skin. Combine in equal proportions the essential oils of patchouli, lavender, rosewood and almond. Apply to damp skin for 15 minutes. Remove the rest with a tissue.
- Toning mask. Dilute oatmeal (30 g) in hot water to a creamy mass, add almond oil (5 ml), rosemary and lemon essential oils (2 drops each). Leave the mask on for 15 minutes, rinse off.
- Purifying (for dry, normal skin types). Ingredients: yolk (1 pc.), Almond oil (15 drops), water (5 ml). Mix all components, leave on face for 20 minutes, rinse.
- To smooth wrinkles, nourish and eliminate dark circles under the eyes. Apply almond oil toeyelid skin with fingertips, light tapping movements. Wait until it is absorbed.
- For regeneration and humidification. Method of preparation: mix sandalwood and neroli essential oils (2 drops each) with almond kernel oil (15 ml), apply to the skin. After 20 minutes, remove the residue with a cotton pad.
- To refresh and improve complexion. The mask is suitable for oily skin. To prepare the essential oils of citrus and ylang-ylang, mix 2 drops each, add 15 ml of warmed almond oil. The product is applied to the face for 10 minutes, then removed with a cotton pad.
- To improve skin elasticity and prevent stretch marks. To prepare a massage mixture, the essential oils of mandarin, neroli and lavender are mixed 4 drops each, 100 ml of almond oil are injected. The product should be applied to the thighs and abdomen, starting from the 5th month of pregnancy.
- For nutrition, healing of chapped skin of the hands. Almond oil is heated to 38 degrees, rubbed into the dermis with massage movements. It is preferable to apply a hand mask at night, if necessary, wear cotton gloves. Do not rinse.
- For elasticity, shine and stimulation of hair growth.
- For makeup removal. A cotton pad is moistened in the composition and gently wipe the skin of the eyelids, eyelashes. After cleansing the eyes, rinse the face with water.
For oily hair care, almond oil is mixed with essential oils of cedar, bergamot and lemon (2 drops each). The resulting composition is rubbed into the roots, then distributed along the entire length of the curls before washing the head. If the hair is dry, the product is applied to washed wet strands. From essential oils, patchouli, lavender or ylang-ylang are used.
To achieve a lasting effect, oil formulations are applied to the strands at least 1-2 times a week. To nourish the hairline, the fat from the almond kernels is allowed to be applied to the comb, combing the hair three times a day. To reduce the fragility of nails and restore their strength, almond oil (5 ml) is combined with essential oils of ylang-ylang and lemon (1 drop each). The product is applied daily to the nail plate. For herpes, almond oil (5 ml) should be mixed with eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil (2 drops). Lubricate the rash with the resulting composition up to 5 times a day. To prevent atherosclerosis, consume 5 ml of almond oil daily for 3 months.
Thus, cold-pressed almond oil is a miracle cure for women's health and beauty. By its properties, this unique product relieves pain during menstruation, prevents the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy, nourishes, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin, strengthensnails, stimulates hair growth. Based on the oil, homemade masks and compresses are prepared. In addition, it is introduced into the composition of ready-made cosmetic products for face and body skin care (cream) to fortify the product.
Milk is a delicious and nutritious drink with healing potential. Almond pomace is an alternative to cow's milk, however, it is not able to provide the human body with calcium (2 mg versus 300 mg) and protein (1 g versus 8 g).
It is superior in vitamins and minerals to soy and rice products.
Benefits of almond milk:
- Prevents heart disease: lowers blood pressure, supplies the body with beneficial omega fatty acids.
- Does not add weight. 100 ml of almond milk contains 2 times fewer calories than whole cow's milk (30 kcal). Thus, it is a diet drink that allows you to maintain or reduce your current weight.
- Improves the condition of the skin, protects it from the negative effects of the sun. Interestingly, 100 ml of almond milk contains 50% of the daily dose of vitamin E.
- Strengthens bone tissue, prevents the development of osteoporosis and arthritis. Ensures dental health.
- Reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Almond milk is a low-carbohydrate food with a glycemic index of 30. Therefore, it does not provoke a sharp release of insulin into the blood and sugar, respectively.
- Strengthens muscles.
- Improves digestion. In addition, milk from almond kernels does not contain lactose, from intolerance to which more than 10% of the adult population of the planet suffers.
- Strengthens vision, increases the ability of the eyes to adapt to different lighting conditions.
What are the culinary benefits of the product
It does not require refrigeration. Store-bought almond milk can be stored at room temperature and retains its freshness and nutrients intact.
Tastier than cow's. A distinctive feature of almond milk is its unique aroma and fresh nutty taste.
It's easy to cook. Unlike whole cow's milk, almond milk is easy to make at home. It does not require keeping cattle in a barn or growing fields of this plant. It is enough to purchase sweet almonds, finely grind them with a coffee grinder or blender, mix with water and separate the cake from the nutrient liquid.
Ingredients based on 4 servings. Cooking time -12.5 hours, of which 12 hours are for soaking the almonds.
- maple syrup - 15 ml;
- raw unshelled almonds - 1.5 cups;
- vanilla extract - 2.5 ml;
- water - 600 ml;
- cinnamon, nutmeg (powdered), salt.
- Place the almonds in a bowl, pour cold water over it so that it covers it by 2-3 cm. Infuse 12 hours. Drain the water.
- Put the swollen nuts into the blender bowl, add 200 ml of water at room temperature, turn on the device for 1 minute. The finished mixture should have the consistency of a thick homogeneous paste.
- Put the almond mass in a bowl, pour 400 ml of boiling water, brew for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture with a sieve, gauze or fine mesh filter. Then squeeze the nutrient liquid from the cake. Do not throw away the pulp of almonds, it is useful for making cocktails and diet cookies.
- In filtered cool almond milk, add maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat with a mixer.
Unlike a store-bought product, homemade almond milk should be stored in a sealed container for no more than 2 days in a cold place. It is not recommended to give to infants as it can trigger an allergic reaction to nuts.
Choose your main ingredient carefully. Almond milk, made from unripe, bitter nuts, can harm the body. The following reactions are possible: heart rhythm disturbance, mild drug intoxication, headaches, overexcitation.
When buying store-bought almond milk, first of all, pay attention to the composition of the product. Some manufacturers add the food additive carrageenan to it to thicken, stabilize and gel. It is obtained from red seaweed. For a long time, carrageenan was considered a safe ingredient, but recent studies have found that it aggravates the course of coronary heart disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and also causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. In this regard, the European Union has banned the use of this food additive in baby food.
The recommended daily intake of a healing drink is 200 ml.
This is a product obtained from the processing of nut pulp. Almond flour is hygroscopic, it has a good ability to absorb and retain moisture. Confectionery and bakery products prepared on its basis retain freshness longer. The chemical composition and calorie content of the product are the same as those of almonds. Interestingly, the beneficial components of the nut kernel are preserved even after heat treatment. In addition, almond flour is practically gluten-free, which means it is suitable for people who are sensitive to this complex protein of cereals. It is recommended to use it for anemia, convulsions, visual impairment, insomnia.
Unlike premium grain flour, depleted in vitamins, almond flour contains carotene, tocopherol, choline, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic and folic acids, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus. As a result, dishes made from nut powder have a high nutritional value and are beneficial for the human body.
What can be made with almond flour:
- French macarons;
- frangipane and marzipan desserts;
- Genoise and decoise biscuits, pastries, cakes;
- cookies, sweets;
- casseroles, cereals, pates.
In Mediterranean cooking, almond flour is used not only for the preparation of sweet products. It is introduced into the first and second courses, added to sauces, fillings for snack pies. This is a versatile product for thickening almost any dish. People who follow a low-carbohydrate diet and eat healthy use almond powder instead of refined flour to make the base for dough and breading.
How to make flour at home
The technology for the production of almond flour depends on what you want to get at the end. There are only two options.
From unshelled almonds
It has a brown color, which is not a key factor in baking or salads. Often, unpeeled almond flour is mixed with chocolate and added to the dough, cream. In this case, the preparatory stage involves sorting out the kernels (separating the quality ones from the spoiled ones), followed by washing in cold water.
From peeled almonds
A characteristic feature of the product is its snow-white color. Flour is used in the creation of biscuit dough, delicate desserts in which brown flour is not allowed.
Making white nut powder is a laborious process, becauseit involves peeling the almonds from the skin. First of all, fill a saucepan with hot water, throw the kernels into it, leave for 5 minutes. Then drain the liquid, rinse the nuts under running cold water. Repeat this procedure, increasing the interval for soaking almonds in boiling water up to 10 minutes. After the second time, the steamed skin is removed without effort.
Remember that the sorted washed almonds must be dried before grinding, otherwise you will get nut gruel instead of flour. To do this, preheat the oven to 70 degrees, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, distribute the kernels (previously cut into 2-3 parts) over the surface and hold for no more than 20 minutes. Make sure they don't burn. Cool the dried almonds and start grinding.
Methods for grinding nuts into flour
In a blender
Place dried almond kernels in a blender bowl (no more than half of its volume). Turn on the device for 20 seconds at medium speed. Then knock on the sides of the bowl to shake off the adhering particles of flour. Switch on the device again for 30 seconds. Whip the prepared almond flour off the sides of the bowl.
In a coffee grinder
Grinding sweet beans in this way requires a special approach, but the final product will be very thin and delicate. Almonds are crushed in short series no longer than 20 seconds with breaks between each approach. If the grinder runs too long, the blades will heat up and turn the powder into a paste.
In a meat grinder
Scroll the almond kernels several times to break up the surviving large particles.
The finest grinding is obtained by grinding grains with a coffee grinder, and coarse grinding is obtained by a meat grinder. It is recommended to use almond flour immediately after cooking, because after a while it cakes into lumps and loses its nutty flavor. Despite the fact that fatty acids do not go rancid (they are in a stable form), oxidative reactions are best prevented. To do this, almond flour is poured into a glass jar, tightly closed with a lid, and stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 months.
Almond Flour Recipes
Strawberry French Macaroon
- lemon juice - 20 ml;
- sugar - 360 g;
- food coloring - 4 g;
- almond flour - 255 g;
- dried lavender flowers - 5 g;
- strawberry puree - 230 g;
- pectin - 5 g;
- powdered sugar - 240 g;
- soy powder - 10 g;
- water - 180 ml.
- Heat strawberry puree, add 15 gsugar and pectin powder. Bring to a boil, sweeten with another 100 g of sucrose, boil for 10 minutes over low heat. Add lavender flowers, lemon juice.
- Remove the saucepan with strawberry puree from heat and cool.
- Heat water (120 ml), add sugar (80 g), soy powder, beat until a homogeneous foam is obtained.
- Prepare a syrup of water (60 ml) and sugar (170 g). Pour into the soy foam in a thin stream.
- Mix powdered sugar, coloring and almond flour. Add to soy mixture, stirring constantly.
- Fill a pastry bag with the finished dough (it should drip off the spatula and shine), line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form into small patties.
- Put the baking sheet with macarons in the oven for 30 minutes, maintain the temperature at 150 degrees.
- Cool the tortillas, connect the 2 halves with warm lavender-strawberry cream.
- wheat flour - 25 g;
- powdered sugar - 250 g;
- almond flour - 100 g;
- protein from 3 eggs.
- Mix powdered sugar with almond flour and proteins. Whip the ingredients until smooth.
- Sift wheat flour, add to the sugar mass. Knead the dough. Make sure it has a liquid consistency.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Fill a piping bag with dough, pipe a round biscuit. Remember that it will expand during cooking, so leave a distance of 3 cm between them.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake 20 minutes. The appearance of a golden brown crust indicates the readiness of the cookies.
- butter - 25 g;
- hazelnuts - 100 g;
- shelled almonds - 80 g;
- condensed milk - 1 can;
- coconut - 200 g;
- cocoa powder - 100 g
- butter in a water bath, add condensed milk and cocoa powder, stirring constantly.
- Chop the hazelnuts, add to the sweet mixture.
- Cool the chocolate mass, shape into balls, place almonds inside, roll each one in coconut flakes outside.
Almond is the guardian of human beauty and health. First of all, the productuseful for the fairer sex. In cosmetology, it is used in the form of oil to combat cellulite and stretch marks. Fat extracted from almond kernels nourishes and moisturizes the skin, makes it elastic, promotes cell regeneration, improves the condition of hair and nails. With regular external use, the hair becomes thick, strong, shiny and silky. In addition, almonds are a storehouse of calcium, vitamin E, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and folic acid, so pregnant and lactating women are advised to include the product in their daily diet. It eliminates digestive disorders that often occur after childbirth, has an analgesic effect, and is involved in the formation of the neural tube of the fetus.
Not only almond oil is valuable, but also the nut shell. It is ground into powder, added to cosmetics as an exfoliating agent for the dermis. In addition, ground shells are added to wines, liqueurs and brandies to flavor alcoholic beverages. The cake left after the production of oil has found its application in the perfume industry. It is used as a fragrance. Flour and milk are produced from almond kernels, which have found their application in cooking.
Interestingly, almonds are a powerful aphrodisiac for men. It enhances the production and improves the quality of sperm. However, remember that the beneficial properties of almonds are revealed only if you follow the measure. The recommended daily allowance (in the absence of contraindications) is 10 raw kernels (up to 30 g). Any processing (frying, salting) spoils the product and reduces its nutritional value.
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