Almonds – Why so Blanche?

In Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian modality of healing that quite literally means “the science of life”, almonds are considered to be energizing and balancing for the mind. Almonds are rich in essential fats and serve to improve memory. These wonderful nuts are in the same family as the plum, rose, cherry and peach so no wonder they taste so delicious! Not only are they super delicious, but they are packed with nutrition. They provide 20% protein which means that in 1 ounce of almonds {approximately 24 nuts} you are consuming 5.6 grams of protein! They are rich in Vitamin E, magnesium and calcium and have qualities of iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

1964849_721758221200850_1862659505_nBut we aren’t here to discuss the super powers of almonds, we are here to discuss the proper way to consume almonds. That’s right, you may have been eating almonds all wrong. It’s alright, I’m sure that you will live – you may have just slowed down your agni, digestive fire. You see, almonds are very hard to digest when eaten raw and without first blanching them. The outer skin {the brown casing} on almonds can be toxic in high doses and depending on your dosha, can be difficult to metabolize. {more on doshas, in a later post}

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Blanching, or “softening” almonds is super easy to do and a much healthier option!

Simply soak almonds overnight or for 3-8 hours, rinse and then pop the almonds out of the brown skin with your forefinger and thumb. When I’m in a hurry, I’ll pour boiling water over my almonds, let sit for a 3-5 minutes – rinse then pop. This method however does not allow the water to fully penetrate the almonds and allow a full absorption. But that’s alright, we can’t win em all.

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Because Almonds have qualities of being heavy, oily, cold and sweet – they are perfect during the autumn and winter months.

Extra tidbits:

According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, almonds should not be eaten by themselves on an empty stomach. Mix these tasty nuts with foods such as milk, grains or veggies to avoid a Pitta imbalance.

Make sure nuts are fresh and in season and preferably Organic. Rancid oils from nuts can actually increase free radicals and are considered toxic.

When I lived in Australia, there was a nut and coffee shop that was just down the street from my office and all too convenient. I would buy their fresh roasted nuts and eat them by the handfuls… and more handfuls. When I went to my Chinese doctor and she tested me for toxins, I had a high toxin overload of nut skins. Who would have thought?!

So repeat with  me, “no more nut skin!” … they even sound gross.

Happy eating!