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February 16th is National Almond Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then things are about to get a little nutty because it's National Almond Day!  This has to be my favorite nut, so you know I'm loving this holiday.    Let's get right into celebrating National Almond Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

This holiday is no different than most other food holidays; it's celebrated because people love almonds! They have such a nice flavor to them and they're healthy, so I don't blame whoever started this celebration. In fact, you can find me munching on almonds pretty much year round!  Almonds actually got their start in the Middle East and then slowly made their way to Northern Africa and Southern Europe thanks to travelers. Then they eventually started showing up in places like California. When something is as good as almonds, you have to bring it home with you and share with everyone!

Almonds are packed with fiber, vitamin E and good fats which does wonders for your cholesterol levels. So by those nutritional facts you can count on being more "regular", having good skin and preventing cancer. It doesn't hurt to have these in your daily diet, now does it?  It's no wonder that global production of almonds is about 1.7 million tons a year! The United States, Spain and Syria are the top three producers of this wonderful nut. So don't be afraid to eat a few handfuls today; they're not going to run out any time soon!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, you can easily go to the store and pick up some almonds to munch on all day. You can get them raw or roasted, it doesn't matter. They're a great snack and you can easily eat them on the go.  You can also get them sliced or blanched if you want to add to something like your cereal or a salad. 

And don't be afraid to step into the kitchen today, you'd be surprised how many products are made from almonds. There's almond flour, almond milk, almond paste, almond extract, almond butter and almond oil. So think about the different opportunities you have throughout the day to add in one of these almond-based products.  If you're baking bread, a cake or cookies today then why not toss in some almond flour instead?  Almond flour is gluten-free and lower in carbs! Or you could have some almond milk with your cereal today; they even have flavored versions if the normal version is too watery for you.  If you're lactose intolerant or vegan, you probably know all about almond milk.  You could make some marzipan if you're up to it or flavor things with some almond extract if you're baking. And why not have an almond butter and jelly sandwich or saute some food in almond oil? There are so many possibilities!  Bake up a storm today and share the treats with friends or family or just lace all your meals with almond products. Either way, today is a great day to go nutty!





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