Blanched almonds are almonds with their dark skins removed. Many recipes call for the nuts to be prepared this way. Although you can find blanched almonds in most supermarkets, removing the thin membrane on almonds you already have is a lot easier than you may think, and you save money by doing it yourself. Follow this quick and easy method.
How to Blanch Almonds
- Place the almonds in a bowl.
- Pour boiling water into the bowl to barely cover the almonds.
- Let the almonds sit for 1 minute and no longer.
- Drain the water from the bowl using a colander.
- Rinse the almonds under cold water, and drain again.
- Pat the almonds dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Slip the skins off the almonds.
Additional Information on Almonds
- Don't let almonds sit in hot water too long. They'll lose their crispness.
- 1 pound of almonds in the shell yields about 1 1/2 cups of shelled almonds.
- 1 pound shelled almonds equals 3 cups of whole almonds or 4 cups of slivered almonds.
Storing Blanched Almonds
Natural oils in the almonds can become rancid. Store blanched almonds in a tightly sealed container in a dark, cool, dry place. Refrigerate them for up to 3 months or freeze them for up to 1 year. Whole almonds have a longer shelf life than pieces or slivers.
Blanched almonds can be cut for slivers, which add an attractive texture to yogurt, ice cream, and other treats.
After the nuts are blanched, warm them up slightly for slivering. A short 10 seconds in the microwave will do the trick. Then, using your sharpest knife, slice the almonds vertically and carefully, one at a time.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are considered a superfood because they deliver plenty of nutrients.
They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss. They are known to lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals. They are high in vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. They have more monounsaturated fat and protein than an egg. Almonds contain many phytonutrients (especially flavonoids)—20 antioxidant flavonoids are found in the skins, so don't blanch all of them. Plant sterols may reduce cholesterol and C-reactive protein. A 1-ounce serving of almonds (20 to 25 almonds) has 164 calories.
- The almond is not a true nut. It is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, similar to peach, cherry and apricot pits.
- Almonds come in two forms: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are the ones we eat. Bitter almonds are not edible, but they are used to make almond oil, which flavors—among other things—Amaretto.
- The almond tree is a member of the rose family.
- Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible.
- The protein in almonds is similar to the protein in human breast milk.
Recipes That Use Blanched Almonds
Try adding your blanched almonds to cooked green beans, to yogurt with fruit or honey, to chicken salad, a broccoli and feta salad or one of these recipes: