Healthy Snacking with Almonds

It’s eleven o’clock and you’re beginning to feel the grumble of your stomach.  If you are anything like me attempts for a healthy snack go out of the window on these cold autumn days, it’s too early for lunch, you reach for a snack, but what are you going to grab? Crisps take the edge off, but not for long, plus they are high in salt and can leave you with a dry mouth. Grab a biscuit or cake with your tea, but you can be adding loads of empty calories and once you grab one, it’s hard not to reach for a second, third or even fourth.

But choose your snack wisely and you can gobble your way to good health.  I’ve seen loads of things about Almonds recently and apparently nutritional, flavoured almond snacks can be incredibly good for you, have a nice delicate flavour and can help you make it through to lunch.

Unlike some seasonal fruits, almonds are freshly available most of the year and are packed with hidden benefits. A fantastic source of protein, almonds can give your hair and skin a healthy glow, and while it seems like a contradiction, almonds are full of fats that are good for you. Studies show that the mono-unsaturated fats found in almonds are good for lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels. Pregnant women can benefit from their naturally occurring folic acid, which can help prevent major birth defects in baby. And they’re even helpful in relieving constipation.

You may have avoided almonds in the past because they are high in calories, but almond snacks in a low-calorie, balanced diet have beneficial properties that can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight, as well as keep your heart healthy. Add 1 oz (that’s almost about a handful, or approximately 23 shelled nuts) of almonds to your daily diet and you’ll soon start reaping the rewards.

If you’re not a fan of eating raw nuts, here’s an excellent, tasty almond snack recipe to get you going.

Spice Roasted Almonds

  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder and extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, ground cumin and ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ground black pepper
  • 260 g almonds

Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C for fan-assisted ovens. Combine the salt, olive oil, chilli powder, coriander, cumin and pepper in a bowl. Toss the almonds in the mixture to coat. Spread the almonds over a baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring twice. Take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before serving (be careful, they will be very hot!). You don’t have to eat them all right away, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for five days.