Today’s a great day to go nuts talking about how awesome almonds are! It’s Almond Day, which celebrates the delicious, healthy, versatile, naturally gluten-free almond. How do I love thee, almonds? Let me count the ways: slivered and sprinkled on top of my oatmeal, as a nutty salad topping, and as a convenient, healthy snack that I can easily store in my desk drawer at work.
But I’m not the only one going nuts about almonds today—California Almonds is also celebrating this wonderful nut, and they’ve teamed up with Katie Cavuto, RD, the dietitian for the Philadelphia Phillies and Flyers. Katie created 15 everyday lifestyle tips (many of which are almond-inspired) for the mind, body, and earth, to help promote good health and well-being. Check out the tips below, and keep scrolling for a special Almond Day recipe Katie created!
Tips for the mind
- Learn to savor each bite. When you eat mindfully and delight in the experience, you will feel more satisfied with a smaller portion of your favorite foods. Try this: take a dark chocolate covered almond and put it in your mouth. Before you start to chew, notice the texture of the almond. Then, with each bite, pay attention to the flavor and textures and any changes that may take place. Pause to experience how delicious it tastes.
- Breathe. Harness the power of your breath. One breath can truly transform your body and state of mind. Stressed? Worried? Give this a try. Stop what you are doing, close your eyes and inhale fully. Pause for a few seconds and then exhale slowly and consciously release any negative thoughts or energy that you are holding onto. Notice any changes that take place? It’s relaxing, huh? If one breath can be this powerful, imagine the robust shift you will feel when you mindfully take a few more.
- Eat a handful of almonds! It can be difficult to keep your mind focused on an empty stomach and almonds are the perfect snack to stave off hunger.
- Grow something! Growing your own food is sustainable, healthy and rewarding. There is a lot of joy to be gained through the satisfaction of nurturing a plant. The presence of plants in the home can improve air quality, reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.
- Eat with gratitude. Gratitude practices can bring about happiness. The same can be said for creating joyful eating experiences. Shared eating experiences with loved ones can be uplifting and provides a positive boost!
Tips for the body
- Shift your intentions around food. Instead of focusing on dieting and will power, choose a positive intention like eating to nourish your body. Focus your energy on creating a nourishing, nutrient dense plate of whole foods and find bliss in your intention to care for yourself.
- Spice up your snack routine by trying a new flavor of almonds and create a simple, energizing, flavorful snack all the while dampening your cravings.
- From almond butter to almond milk, almond flour and whole almonds, there are many ways to incorporate almonds into your daily meals to ensure you’re consuming adequate amounts of key nutrients.
- Create your own convenience foods with a little planning. Just one serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of satisfying unsaturated fats. Keep a serving of almonds in your car, gym bag, purse or office so you have a crave-worthy, crunchy snack on hand at all times.
- Have crazed mornings prevented you from eating a nourishing breakfast? Ensure you have time for this essential meal by preparing your breakfast foods ahead of time. You can make smoothie packets and store them in the freezer or blend up a smoothie the night before. Add a scoop of almond butter to create a more satisfying meal.
Tips for the Earth
- Become a part of the “Meatless Monday” trend and incorporate plant-based proteins like almonds into your meals. “Meatless” meals often feature plant based proteins, which contain good, unsaturated fats that offer many health benefits.
- Create a more plant-centric plate! Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Bonus: they’re naturally gluten-free!
- Did you know that almond trees provide more than just the delicious nut we eat? Almond trees contribute to water efficiency by producing three products in one including the kernel, the hull which is used for livestock feed and the shells that are used as alternative fuel to produce electricity and as livestock bedding. So, think about that the next time you crunch on an almond!
- Do you think about your food waste? Meal planning, embracing leftovers and striving to use what you already have in your kitchen is a great way to reduce trash, take control of your food choices, and ensure your plate is nourishing and sustainable!
- Locally sourced foods help support the local community. Whenever possible, eat local produce!
And here’s a special Almond Day tip from me: If you need to eat gluten-free for medical reasons, always make sure the almonds you buy are gluten-free! Don’t trust bulk bins at the grocery store, where cross-contamination can easily happen. Instead, purchase almonds that you know to be gluten-free. Be sure to check product packaging and/or the manufacturer’s website to make sure you are buying a brand of almonds that is safe for you to enjoy.
Looking for a delicious recipe to celebrate Almond Day? This stew is nutritious and will help keep you warm on a chilly February night!
African Root Vegetable Stew with Almonds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, 1 inch dice
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 (14-ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup sweet potato, peeled, 1 inch dice
- 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, 1 inch dice
- 1 cup rutabaga or turnip, peeled, 1 inch dice
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup crunchy natural almond butter
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups of kale, chopped
- Hot red pepper flakes or freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lime wedges to garnish
- Sliced almonds to top
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and cumin and sauté about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.
- Add broth and root vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until tender.
- Add the chickpeas and almond butter; stir to combine.
- Add cilantro and kale; cook until thoroughly heated and kale wilts, about 2 minutes.
- Serve as is or over rice. Garnish with lime and top with sliced almonds.
Special thanks to California Almonds and Katie Cavuto for providing these healthy tips and a delicious recipe!