16 Uses of Almonds (Badam)
Almond, even though considered to be a nut, is actually a seed of the fruit of the almond tree. They are used in Indian cooking for desserts and making the basic badam milk. Nevertheless it is known as the kind of nuts as it is extremely healthy in many respects. Almonds have a brown skin/coating and are off-white in color from the inside. They are slightly sweet in taste which makes them a delight to eat even raw.
1. Almonds are generally eaten raw, toasted or salted. They can be mixed with other dried fruits to be served as a snack. Whole or chopped almonds mixed with rolled oats and cinnamon is an ideal Healthy Granola Mix.
2. Almonds are one of the few basic nuts, including cashews and pistachios that are used in sweet and dessert making in India. Indian sweets from all around the country utilize almonds, for example Gujarati Mohanthal is garnished with almond slivers and it is also added to the ever favorite Coconut Sheera. Enhance a healthy sauté of curried vegetables with sliced almonds.
3. Finely grind the almonds and use them to make a sweet Badam Ka Halwa. This is the perfect sweet for any festival and occasion celebrated in India due to its nutty flavor.
4. Along with other dried fruits, almonds are a favorite for making pralines. Add chopped almonds to melted sugar or jaggery and then cooled to form a really amazing confectionary item. The Indian version of a praline is Chikki, which is a traditional sweet served all year round.
5. In the Mughlai and Pasanda cuisines, almonds are used extensively. They either form the base of a curry by adding richness to it or are used whole in biryanis to give a royal touch the food. As the name suggests, Nawabi Kesar Koftas have an excellent mouthfeel due to the almonds and cashews in the gravy.
6. Almonds are very important for vegans. As vegans do not use any milk or milk based product, they use almonds to make Homemade Almond Milk. This milk can be had plain or with cereal or even in smoothies. It is a super healthy alternate to milk which has a great flavor and no added sugar!
7. One can even make a homemade almond butter. This is a paste which is mostly used as a spread and is made by roasting and grinding the almonds till they start releasing their oil and turn into a delicious paste. It can be added to a breakfast shake or had plain to boost its taste and protein content.
8. Make "nut crumbs" by adding toasted almonds to a food processor until the almonds are coarsely ground. These crumbs can form the base of pies or crusts of desserts like cheesecake or be used in savory dishes as topping for casseroles, or sprinkle on pasta and grain dishes.
9. Roasted almonds can be grinded up to make almond flour. This flour makes a super healthy Almond Bread, which you can even make at home for a healthy gluten free breakfast or snack. Other gluten free options to make with almond flour are Almond Bhakris.
10. Surprisingly almonds taste extraordinary in savory dishes. Not only are they an excellent choice for desserts, but whether grinding or chopped, they can be added to different pasta dishes and salads even! One of my favorite recipes with almonds is Fettucine in Celery Almond Sauce where the almonds give a nice crunch to the creamy sauce.
11. Bursting with flavor, savory seasoned almonds are the perfect topping for your favorite side or main dish. In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, toss whole natural or slivered almonds in a small amount of vegetable oil until golden. Add your choice of dried herbs, then sprinkle over salads, vegetables and pasta.
12. Healthy protein bars get much of their protein content by adding almonds to the mix.
13. Needless to say, chopped almonds add the extra crunch and healthy element to cakes. Together with chocolate, you can make a fabulous Chocolate Nut Cake or even make tiny chocolate delights called Almond Rocks to serve at parties or to kids.
14. Biscotti's are double baked Italian biscuits that have a crunch. Almond biscotti's have a unique flavor to them and they go so well with a hot cup of cocoa or as a tea time snack.
15. Chopped almonds can be added to pancake and waffle batters as well. One such unique snack is a Mini Jowar Apple Pancake Recipe, a healthy variant of the regular maida pancakes.
16. The most famous ice cream during the past year, especially for me, has been the Roasted Almond Ice cream. This flavor of ice cream got famous by a dessert chain called Naturals and I have not gone back. Even though you get it outside, the taste of the homemade version is so much better as you can control the flavor!
To know about Recipes using Almonds, check out our collection.