The almond is thought to have originated in western Asia and North Africa.  Almonds were a prized ingredient in breads served to Egypt’s pharaohs.  Explorers ate almonds while traveling the Silk Road between Asia and the Mediterranean.  The almond has maintained religious, ethnic, and social significance throughout history.  The Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm.  Today, guests at weddings are often given bags of sugared almonds, representing children, happiness, romance, good health, and fortune.
Nutritional Highlights:
            Almonds are packed full of nutrition.  They are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E.
Health Benefits:
            Like other nuts, almonds appear quite useful in fighting against heart disease, cholesterol and cancer.
Quick Serving Ideas:
  • Almonds provide a little crunch to plain yogurt.
  • Enhance your next vegetable stir-fry with ½ cup sliced almonds.
  • Add two tablespoons of almonds to your morning bowl of oatmeal.
  • Utilize a handful of almonds as a quick power snack.
  • Make an open-faced sandwich of almond butter and bananas drizzled with a little honey.
  • For a delightful side dish, sauté 1 ½ cups blanched almonds with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt.