Thursday, March 19, 2015

Are You Nuts...About National Nutrition Month...and Perhaps Almonds!?!

GO NUTS...for National Nutrition Month! Almonds, walnuts, pistachios oh my, I think I'll give the ALMONDS a try!!! I've had the pleasure to participate with, sharing with you all that is so awesome about almonds. For example, take a look at this almond infographic here...
Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month with almonds...

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie
(almond source: chocolate almond milk)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
4 c. frozen strawberries
4 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 c. Greek yogurt, honey flavor
6 c. chocolate almond milk
4 sprigs chocolate mint, to garnish

    Combine, ingredients in a blender beginning with strawberries and bananas then yogurt and soy chocolate milk.
Blend until smooth. Pour evenly into four glasses and garnish each with a sprig of chocolate mint.

Kaia’s Tropical Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes
(almond source: almond milk, almond butter and whole almonds)
 Makes: 6 small cakes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
 3/4 c. buckwheat pancake mix
1/2 c. almond milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/8 t. cinnamon
3 t. coconut spread
6 t. creamy almond butter
1 banana, sliced
3 T. honey
1/4 c. sliced almonds
 Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium. In a mixing bowl combine buckwheat pancake mix, almond milk, oil, egg and cinnamon. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes.
Using a 1/4 cup spoon the batter into the hot skillet and cook until golden about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Complete pancakes by evenly spreading each with coconut spread and creamy peanut butter, top with sliced bananas, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Cucumber, Raisin, Almond Salad with Blood Orange Olive Oil Drizzle Topped with a Port Vinegar Soaked Tomato
(almond source: whole almonds)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. almonds, crushed
2 T. blood orange olive oil
4 slices tomato
port vinegar, as needed
Combine cucumber, raisins and almonds in a shallow dish and drizzle with blood orange olive oil and toss gently to coat evenly.
Dish out portions into salad bowls, top with a tomato slice splashed with port vinegar.
Tropical Almond Butter Soup
(almond source: almond butter)
Serves: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
 1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. vegetable or chicken broth, warm
1 c. creamy or chucky almond butter
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 t. chili garlic sauce, or favorite hot sauce
4 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 banana, diced
1/2 c. pineapple, diced
1/4 c. cilantro, minced
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
3 c. cooked white or brown rice
 In a large pot heat oil over medium and add onions. Cook until slightly tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
In the meantime combine warm broth and peanut butter in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and chili garlic sauce then add to pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and continue cooking until slightly thickened about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach the last five minutes of cooking,
In a medium bowl combine banana, pineapple and cilantro, mix well and set aside.
Assemble dish by placing a disk of rice in the center of the bowl, ladle soup around rice, top with tropical fruit mix and garnish with a lime wedge.
Dark Chocolate Drizzled Citrus Strawberry Tart with Crushed Almonds
(almond source: whole almonds, almond milk and almond meal/flour)
Serves: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
 2 T. almond milk
1 t. fresh lemon juice
½ c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 almond flour/meal
2 t. sugar
1/8 t. salt
¼ c. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3 T. cold water
3 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
1 c. dark chocolate chips
½ c. almonds, crushed
 In a small bowl combine, almond milk and lemon juice, let sit for about 5 minutes to sour and thicken slightly.
For the crust combine flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbles. Still pulsing slowly pour sour milk and cold water into processor until a dough forms. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and knead about ten times until pliable. Form dough into a ball, wrap and place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For filling in a medium bowl combine strawberries, orange juice, cornstarch and sugar. Mix well.
Roll out dough to fit into a 9-inch tart pan and fill with strawberry mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire rack almost completely.
In a small sauce pan melt dark chocolate chips over medium-low until smooth. Drizzle over top of tart and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Slice and serve.
Hope you enjoy my recipes. What are your favorite ways to use almonds? I'd love to know in the comments below, always looking for new recipes!
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