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Friday, 25 April 2014

Green Almonds - another Superfood?

Almonds have been described as a Superfood. A label which given to any food considered especially nutritious or in some way of benefit to our health.

I would be the first to admit that I have always been put off by such descriptions and we have always thought that eating a balanced diet which includes lots of fruit and vegetables and which avoids too much sugar, salt and saturated fat is all we needed. But if you investigate these foods it would be silly to ignore the extra nutritional and health benefits they can provide. 

Apparently green almonds are now being promoted as a new Superfood. We have three almond trees and at this time of the year, for about an 6-8 week period, green almonds are available. The unripe whole almond which is soft, has a fuzzy green skin and the nut, at a very early stage, in the centre are eaten all over the Island and have been so for centuries. 

Scientific studies have revealed these nuts have a very high nutritional value, loaded with healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, proteins and antioxidants. And added to which almonds are one of the lowest calorific nuts and have more calcium contents than any other nut. So maybe they are a Superfood. Not only do almonds lower bad cholesterol levels in the body but they can reduce and protect against the risk of heart diseases. 

The almond, is native to the Mediterranean, and by far the most popular nut tree grown in Cyprus and its beautiful blossom can be seen all over the island in January. To enjoy almonds, you will need to plant at least two almonds for cross-pollination for nut production.  

A great way of enjoying green almonds is to lightly fry a handful for a snack. Wash and trim the tops and bottoms, cut in half and fry for a few minutes (turning occasionally) or so in olive oil. Add salt and lemon juice to further enhance the flavour. 

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