Monday, March 11, 2013

Discovery: Sliced Almonds

I love salads.  Ten years ago, I never ever in a million years thought I'd say that, but I guess time has a way of maturing a person...and perhaps taste buds.

One part of salads I've always enjoyed is the croutons.  I mean, come on!  Who doesn't love seasoned bread?!?  But as I grew in stature and wisdom (and rotundness), I came to the understanding that croutons add nothing of nutritional value to salad.  They add carbs, raise your blood sugar, and detract from the actual nutrients found in the salad itself. (Of course the dressing doesn't do much, either, but that's a post for another time.)

So when I started eating healthier, I started skipping the croutons.  At buffet salad bars I'd take sunflower seeds for a little crunch, or nothing at all.  There are plenty of things you can combine to make a delicious salad without having to top it with anything.

One day I was scouring the pantry for new ideas and came across a little container of sliced almonds.  I'd purchased them months prior for a recipe of some kind, and the leftovers had just been enjoying the solitude of the back of my pantry ever since.  And somehow, when I saw them this time, I was inspired to sprinkle them on top of my salad.

Photo: (ironically...)

Now, I know this thing called "Almond Accents" exists - roasted sliced almonds seasoned in a variety of flavours.  I've had them before, and they are delicious.  But these almonds that I found were raw and unseasoned.  Completely clean-slated for versatility and creativity.

And ya know what?  They add the perfect amount of crunch to a salad (like a crouton!), while also contributing:
  • Protein
  • Assistance in lowering your cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes
  • Improved blood fat
  • Increased energy
Try it next time you make a salad.  If you enjoy the flavour of croutons or seasoned almonds, try adding some fresh or dried herbs to your salad, as well.  Not only does it add flavour, it also avoids the sodium found in croutons or other seasoned salad toppings.

What's your favourite salad topper to add a bit of crunch without the carbs?

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