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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Rosemary Almond Cookie

All About Almonds

Your recipe calls for almonds but when you get to the store to quickly grab a bag you realize you have to choose between natural, blanched, unblanched, roasted or raw. Who knew there were that many choices for one little nut?

More than likely, the only almond you've ever had was produced in California, since it is the only state to commercially produce almonds. Natural and raw almonds are actually the same. They refer to pasteurized almonds that still have their skin on. In 2007, the USDA, on the recommendation of the Almond Board of California, mandated that all almonds sold in the United States are pasteurized in order to decrease the risk of salmonellosis. Unblanched, raw and natural almonds are treated by either steaming them or spraying them with propylene oxide (PPO), a fumigant that has drawn some controversy on whether or not it is a potential carcinogen.

Roasted almonds may or may not have the skin and are either heated dry or with oil. The heat not only pasteurizes the almond, making it safe for consumption but also releases some of the oil, making a nuttier, smokier taste that is perfect for snacking. Blanched almonds are boiled and then rubbed to remove the skins. They're often used in baking so that no skin separates while cooking. The boiling process also pasteurizes the nut. No matter the type of almond, all are a nutritional win for your diet.

Rosemary Almond Cookies (Printable PDF)

? cup blanched whole almonds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

? cup sugar

? cup unpacked brown sugar

2 Tablespoons trans-fat free margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons chopped rosemary

Place almonds in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while processing until ground and almost smooth. In a large bowl, combine almond mixture, sugars and margarine. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute or until blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat to combine. Add flour, baking soda, salt and rosemary; beat until just combined. Preheat oven to 375°F. Chill dough 15 minutes. Drop by 2 teaspoons onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flour hands and press to flatten into 1 ½-inch circles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Yield: 20 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 100 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 65 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein

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