National Almond Day – February 16

You can toss them in a salad, ground them into flour, use them for a healthy alternative to milk, or just munch on a few for an afternoon snack.  Almonds are among the most versatile and delicious of nuts.  Filled with vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber, almonds are wonderfully healthy and may even help fight heart disease. So on February 16, National Almond Day, let’s pay tribute to these tiny powerhouses packed with goodness!

Why We Love National Almond Day

A.  They’re a superfood
There may be no such thing as a perfect food, but almonds are pretty close. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients, almonds are also a great source of plant protein and healthy fat.  Plus, studies have shown that almonds can help reduce belly fat and lower cholesterol.

B.  They’re amazingly versatile
There’s almost no dish that wouldn’t benefit from a sprinkling of almonds.  From ice cream to green bean casserole, almonds add texture, taste, and variety to your menu.  Really, everything is just a little better if you add almonds.

C.  They’re not just good for your insides
Eating almonds can keep your skin glowing.  Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish the skin and reduce signs of aging.  Researchers have found that several of the compounds in almonds can help fight skin cancer and damage by reversing the effects of a poor diet, pollution, and UV light exposure.

How to Celebrate National Almond Day

 1.  Give the gift of almond bark
Almond bark is a delicious, slightly decadent, and incredibly easy-to-make treat.  Pour melted chocolate over almonds and add any other ingredients that catch your fancy, such as dried fruit.  When the chocolate has hardened, break the bark into pieces and package in cellophane as a great way to show someone you care.

2.  Try different almonds
Almonds come in a variety of flavor options, such as smoked, honey roasted, or even sriracha, and different textures like chopped, blanched, sliced, or slivered.  Sprouted almonds have a distinctive crunch, while Jordan Almonds are known world-wide as a delicious treat.  There are so many choices, you can celebrate all day!

3.  Make a marzipan sculpture
Marzipan is an almond paste mixed with sugar and a few other ingredients to make a pliable dough.  It can be colored and used to create sculptures in the same way you would use clay, with the wonderful exception that the creations are edible.

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