Almond Snack Challenge!
I love almonds, and was delighted to hear that California Almonds have launched a ‘Snack Happy Challenge’ to get people to snack healthier by having 30g of almonds (about 23) a day, for 21 days – just use #snackhappy on twitter to join in! After 21 days if you’re feeling the benefits then why not carry on this super healthy habit for life?!
We are swamped with so many messages about how ‘low-fat’ is healthy, but the truth is that our bodies NEED FAT to survive, and we NEED FAT to burn fat! The key though is to choose the right type of fat, i.e. monounsaturated fats from plants, trees and vegetables (including avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds.. and yes there’s some great evidence coming out about the benefits of the fat in coconut too). It’s so easy to tell if some-one is under-nourished (even if they aren’t under-weight).. just check-out their hair, skin and nails.. if it’s looking drab then it’s likely that their diet is looking drab too! After all, you are what you eat (kind of) :)!
Nuts such as almonds provide a variety of key nutrients that help promote a healthy body, including:
- Essential fat ‘linoleic acid’ – helps to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels
- Thiamine – contributes to the normal functioning of the heart and nervous system
- Vitamin E – helps protect cells from free radical damage caused by oxidative stress.
- Magnesium – together with thiamine helps support the nervous system
- Calcium – together with magnesium contributes to normal muscle function.
Almonds are also a natural source of protein (6g per 28g serving) and fibre and they are high in monounsaturated fat, to promote heart health. Gram for gram, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fibre, vitamin E, calcium, riboflavin, and niacin, making them one of the most nutrient-rich tree nuts on earth, just check out the stats below!
Almonds Are Weight Friendly!
Almonds, like other nuts have a low glyceamic index (GI), which mean that they release their energy slowly. They are also packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats which help to promote satiety (fullness) leaving you fully in control of managing your hunger pangs and cravings in just one healthy snack! Almonds are also super crunchy and packed with taste, meaning they are satisfying to eat as well as nutritious!
How to Eat More Almonds!
You should never let anything come between you and your almonds and they are easy to enjoy throughout the entire day. Here are some tasty ideas about how to make the most of any meal and snack time by adding a handful of irresistible California Almonds!
- 7:00 – Post AM workout: Grab a handful of whole natural almonds to give your body a post-workout protein boost to set you up for the day.
- 8:30 – Grabbing breakfast at work: Almonds are the perfect topping for porridge (oats and almonds can easily be stashed in your desk!) – start the day right with a natural source of protein that is also high in fibre and vitamin E.
- 11:00 – The late morning snack attack: Keep a jar of flavoured almonds in your desk to help ward off the desire to ambush your colleague’s sweet bowl or the ever present vending machines. A handful of almonds (approximately 23-30 almonds) provides a simple and nutritious way to keep you going strong, no matter what the day brings. And you can enjoy them in a variety of flavours to calm any craving— I personally like them toasted with cinnamon!
- 12:30 – Lunchtime: Sprinkle slivered or sliced almonds over your salad or bag a handful as a crunchy alternative to crisps. Almonds can bring the excitement back into lunch with their delicious, light flavour, and their irresistible crunch. Even better, they won’t give you any guilt.
- 16:30 – The pre-dinner blues. Sometimes the last couple of hours before dinner can seem like an eternity. You’re tired. You’re hungry. And you find yourself pondering a dip in your secret stash of ‘for emergency only’ chocolate. That’s when almonds can come to the rescue.
- 19:00 – Dinner time: Almonds go great with fish and chicken and can also liven up all sorts of side dishes – just sprinkle on roasted vegetables or grated carrot, or top onto a base of fish and Greek yoghurt (like in my Ryvita & Greek yoghurt topped salmon!).
- 21:00 – Late-night munchies. As the day winds down, the urge to grab a late-night sweet treat or salty snack can sometimes seem uncontrollable. But almonds can let you satisfy your craving without undoing your whole day. Sprinkle them onto low fat Greek yoghurt with a spoonful of your favourite whole grain cereal. And when you really want to indulge, keep some dark chocolate and almonds on hand. Just make sure you keep your portions in check (a handful!).
What every you are craving California Almonds have got it covered – check out their fab ‘Craving Calculator’ to find out your healthy craving alternative!
Meet The Almond Family
- Whole – Natural or Blanched: Natural: versatile and suitable for all-around use, Blanched: work well as an attractive garnish, either as they are or roasted to bring out the flavor and colour.
- Slices or Flakes – Topping for salads, on cereal, coating for savory dishes, garnishing for baked goods (such as breakfast cookies!) or desserts.
- Slivers or Halves – Roasted or flavored snacks, ideal for stir-fries and grain dishes, ingredient for baking or topped onto some overnight oats.
- Diced or Chopped – Topping for dairy items such as yoghurt and baked goods, work well for stuffings and coatings or as a crust for meats and seafood.
- Meal or Flour – Sauce thickener, coating for fried foods or in baking.
- Almond Milk – Use on your morning cereal or in coffee, blend with smoothies or use in baking (e.g. in breakfast cookies!)
- Paste and Butter – As an alternative to other nut butters or spreads (the perfect healthy snack with apple pieces or oat cakes!) – I love almond butter!
As you can tell I’m a massive almond fan (and walnut, pistachio and cashew)! Nuts are a great way of upping the percentage of good fats in your diet and can not only leave you feeling fuller for longer but will nourish your body from the inside out.. I personally like them on porridge or overnight oats, on their own as a snack and in cookies.. how do you like to enjoy your nuts?!
*Samples of the product mentioned were supplied to me free of charge from California Almonds however this review is 100% honest and of my own opinion. I was not influenced in any way by the free samples supplied and do not promote this product more than other products that I have not reviewed. This blog post contains an affiliate link. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.