Almond is often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is also a
component of various dishes. It, along with other nuts, is often
sprinkled over desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream
based dishes. Sweet almonds are used in marzipan, nougat, many
pastries and cookies (including French macarons, Macaroons,
Financiers), noghl and other sweets and desserts.
They are also used to make almond butter, a spread similar to
peanut butter, popular with peanut allergy sufferers and for its
less salty taste. The fruit is somewhat sour, but is a popular
snack in parts of the Middle East eaten dipped in salt to balance
the sour taste. Available only from mid April to mid June (northern
hemisphere), pickling or brining extends the fruit's shelf life.
Traditionally, a low percentage of bitter almonds (10-20%) is added
to the ingredients, which gives the cookies their bitter taste
(commercially, apricot kernels are used as a substitute for bitter
almonds). Almonds are also a common choice as the nuts to include
in torrone. In Pakistan and India, almonds are the base ingredients
of pasanda-style curries.
Badam halva is a sweet made from almonds with added coloring.
Almond flakes are added to many sweets (such as sohan barfi) and
are usually visible sticking to the outer surface.
Almonds can be processed into a milk substitute called almond milk;
the nut's soft texture, mild flavour, and light colouring (when
skinned) make for an efficient analog to dairy, and a soy-free
choice, for lactose intolerant people, vegans, and so on. Raw,
blanched, and lightly toasted almonds all work well for different
production techniques, some of which are very similar to that of
soymilk and some of which actually use no heat, resulting in "raw
milk" (see raw foodism).
Historically, almond syrup was an emulsion of sweet and bitter
almonds usually made with barley syrup (orgeat syrup) or in a syrup
of orange-flower water and sugar.
Nutrition and Health
The sweet almond itself contains practically no carbohydrates and
may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies (biscuits)
for low-carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes
mellitus or any other form of glycosuria , wheat allergies and
coeliac disease. A standard serving of almond flour, 1 cup,
contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, of which 10 g is dietary fibre,
for a net of 10 g of carbohydrate per cup.
This makes almond flour very desirable for use in cake and bread
recipes by people on carbohydrate-restricted diets. Almonds are a
rich source of Vitamin E, containing 24 mg per 100 g. They are also
rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two "good" fats responsible
for lowering LDL cholesterol. Claimed health benefits of almonds
include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the
colon (feces) and the prevention of cancer.
Almonds when present in the diet with elevating the blood levels of
high density lipoproteins and of lowering the levels of low density
In Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care that is native to the
Indian subcontinent, almond is considered a nutritive for brain and
nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and
longevity. Almond oil is called Roghan Badam .It is extracted by
cold process and is considered a nutritive aphrodisiac both for
massage and internal consumption.
Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have
anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity
effects. Almonds may cause allergy or intolerance. Cross reactivity
is common with peach allergens (Lipid transfer proteins) and tree
nut allergens. Symptoms range from local symptoms (e.g. oral
allergy syndrome, contact urticaria) to systemic symptoms including
anaphylaxis (e.g. urticaria, angioedema, gastrointestinal.