Almond - description
Almond is a shrub or small tree from the genus Plum. It is a stone fruit, although it is often referred to as nuts. The shape and size of the almonds resembles an apricot kernel. It originated in Asia Minor and surrounding areas many centuries before our era. Nowadays, the largest plantings of almonds are concentrated in the Mediterranean, China, the USA (California), Central Asia, the Crimea, the Caucasus and the Western Tien Shan.
Almond loves calcium-rich soil and grows at an altitude of 800 meters on stony slopes, combining into small groups of 3-4 individuals. Bukhara almonds can grow at an altitude of up to 2500 meters above sea level. The plant is very light-loving, thanks to a developed root system, it has high drought resistance. Flowers appear in early spring, sometimes in February, fruiting begins in early summer. The tree begins to bear fruit from 4-5 years, and continues from 30 to 50, life expectancy up to 130 years. Reproduction takes place with the help of seeds, root offsprings and seedlings. It can tolerate frosts up to -25 degrees, but during the growing season it is afraid of spring frosts.
Almond - useful properties
Almond has not only great taste, but also a wide range of beneficial properties. Avicenna also noted its benefits for the work of the liver, kidneys and spleen. It is recommended for diseases such as asthma, diabetes, anemia, pleurisy, ulcers and gastritis with high acidity, headaches, insomnia, etc. Regular intake of almonds has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, calms and stimulates the brain. Oil is made from almonds, which helps to clean the kidneys and bladder, helps reduce cholesterol levels, and increases appetite. It is also recommended for the treatment of pneumonia, breast cancer, sprains and flatulence.
Almonds are also used in traditional medicine. It is used as a remedy for cough, cures insomnia and anemia. Almond oil is used to treat cold sores, denying and ulcers. It helps to get rid of freckles and age spots, and also relieves dandruff, if you use it for washing your head, though it is mixed with wine. Almond has contraindications. It is forbidden to people with individual intolerance. Caution must be taken by overweight people, as this is a high-calorie product. Immature fruits contain a small amount of cyanide, so their use in large quantities can lead to poisoning. Bitter varieties of almond are composed of hydrocyanic acid - an extremely toxic substance. Therefore, they can be consumed only in fried form and in small quantities. The risk category is also made by children, who can be poisoned by even a small amount of sweet almond seeds.
Almonds - Calorie
Calories almond is 645 kcal. By calorie content, it is close to cashew nuts, and hazelnuts, but do not rush to give up nuts to please your waist. A large number of calories - not an indicator of harmful qualities for weight. Given the balanced chemical composition of the product, small portions will not make the weight fluctuate at all.
Almonds - use in cooking
Asia is considered the birthplace of almond, although the exact place of its appearance is unknown. But only thanks to the Arabs, the use of almond in cooking has become widespread in Europe.
In today's European market, almonds are used for a variety of purposes. However, it is most often used in the production of confectionery and sweets. As an additive, it gives the product the desired consistency and improves taste.
Whole roasted almonds are used to enhance the taste of chocolate, candy, as well as to decorate confectionery. Glazed whole almonds are an indispensable source of energy.
Crushed roasted almonds are used in various cakes, pastries, and biscuits; it perfectly decorates products from the inside and outside. Crushed roasted almonds are used as an additive in jams, pastes, ketchups, oils and other products. It can be part of the products of the dairy industry: curd mass, glazed curd bars, ice cream, and also serves as a decoration.
Almond flour (finely shredded roasted almonds) is used to make excellent chocolate-nut, cottage cheese and other pastes. Also almond flour is added to the body of the confectionery and to the glaze to impart a wonderful almond flavor and aroma. The unique smell and taste of roasted almonds makes it indispensable for use in the preparation of products such as bread and buns. Almond paste (chopped kernels) is used as a filler for breakfast cereals, additives in the manufacture of chocolate-nut pastes, glazes, creams, yogurts, ice cream, caramel and many other products with the aim of imparting inherent almond flavor and unique flavor.
Almond Recipe Examples
Recipe 1: No Flour Macaroons
It's nice to start your day with a cup of tea with diet cookies, which can be prepared by yourself without adding flour. It would not surprise the name “cookies without flour”, there are many recipes for this delicacy. Such cookies are very useful and can be given even to children from 6 months and people on a diet.
For example, oatmeal cookies are low in calories and tasty. One of the most delicious recipes that are harmless to your body and easy to prepare treats are macaroons without flour.
Ground almonds (300 grams), egg (1 piece), sugar (150 grams), vanilla (2 teaspoons), cocoa powder (1 tbsp).
Method of preparation
Milled almonds, sugar and vanilla mix, add the egg and mix well again. The resulting mass is divided into two parts, in one of which we add cocoa powder. Cover the baking paper form and spread cookies on it. Using a spoon, form a light cake from the light mass, top with half the spoon of the mass with cocoa and connect the edges. We will do the same with the dark mass in order to get dark and light cookies. We bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
Note: it is better to use half the eggs.
Recipe 2: Almond Milk
Almond milk is a very tasty and healthy drink, rich in vitamins and trace elements, and easy to prepare. If you make almond milk for this recipe, you will enrich your body with calcium and other nutrients. To whom it is very pleasant to taste.
Ingredients: water (4-3 cups), almond (200 g).
Method of preparation
Soak the almonds in water for several hours. It should swell and soften. It will be more effective to soak it overnight. Drain the water, place the almonds with fresh water in a blender. Chop well and beat, then filter through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. The remaining oil cake also has beneficial properties and is edible. In the resulting milk, you can add honey and cinnamon. If you do not have a blender, then a coffee grinder will come to help in the household. Crush kernels, then fill with water and strain.
Recipe 3: Raffaello Sweets
Treat yourself, your loved ones and guests with amazingly tasty sweets, which, moreover, are very easy to prepare. In appearance and taste, they doyne in one similar to the branded shop “Raffaellki”.
Ingredients: almonds (24 pcs), cream 33% (60 ml), white chocolate (95 g), butter (25 g), a pinch of salt, coconut chips (75 g).
Method of preparation
Grind a bar of chocolate. Pour the cream and melt in a water bath or in the microwave. Then cool to room temperature, add 15-20 g of coconut and a piece of butter, salt. Stir and allow to cool well. After cooling, beat with a mixer and you can begin to form candies. Spoon cream dial in the middle to put peeled and roasted almonds, roll in coconut. Keep the resulting candy in the refrigerator.
Almond - useful tips from experienced chefs
Often, recipes require the use of refined almonds. This causes some difficulties without knowledge of special cleaning technology. The kernel must be filled with boiling water, after a few minutes to get them and let dry. After that, place the almonds in the oven for about 10 minutes. Done! The peel is lagging behind, and the kernels are white and ready to eat.