One of the most confusing matters when it comes to the plant paradox program and one of the most frequent asked questions: Are almonds compliant, because I can’t find them on the YES and NO lists? Or, are almonds lectin-free? The answer is, yes, almonds are plant paradox compliant when eaten without the skin because, you guessed, almond skin is high in lectins. Almonds without skins are also called ‘blanched almonds’.
All things almonds. What to buy, where, and how to eat them.
Raw almonds – you can buy them with skins, and remove the skin either by blanching them – throwing them in boiling water for no longer than 60 seconds, draining them and removing the skins with the help of a dry towel. For a snack, you can soak them in cold / iced water and keep them in the fridge for about 24 hours, the skins will nicely come off and the soaked and cold almonds are delicious as a snack (a trick I learned while living in Dubai: Lebanese restaurant were serving cold, soaked almonds in an iced bowl, and they were so delicious). Or, you can buy them already blanched, whole or slivered. Technically they are still called raw even if blanched.
Almond butter – a tricky one. There are only two brands that make plant paradox compliant almond butter, to my knowledge, in the US. One is Barney’s Bare Smooth Almond Butter, made with roasted blanched almonds and added palm oil. And the other two (and the ones I prefer because they don’t have added oils) are Wellbee’s White Almond Butter, made with raw stone ground blanched almonds, in a small batch and Biona White Almond Butter. Now, my personal opinion on almond butter is that once you’ve tasted pecan butter (homemade), almond butter is rather bland. Maybe is just my taste but it’s amazing how good the pecan butter is, just using roasted pecans. Plus, another reason I like to go for other nut butters is because I’m already having a lot of almonds by consuming almond flour in different forms, so I’d rather keep things nutritionally diverse.
Almond flour and almond meal. Almond flour is made with blanched almonds, and is usually finer, and almond meal is made with almonds with skins, usually coarse. For the obvious reasons, only almond flour is plant paradox compliant.
One of my favorite almond recipes using both almond flour and blanched, slivered almonds is ITALIAN ALMOND BISCOTTI WITH TIGERNUT FLOUR.
Almond milk. Something I don’t consume at all, because I prefer hemp and coconut milk. But, theoretically, almond milk should be made with skinless almonds (if only for the color, right?). I don’t know if all brands do that, so if you have a favorite brand of almond milk you should contact the company and ask what almonds they use. A safe way to make almond milk, is to mix 2 tbsp heaping tbsps white almond butter (the two brands above) with 1 cup water, in a blender.
Homemade almond butter. If you still want to make this, or have some almonds around you want to use (like I did), know that is super easy to make it at home, and even if you add an extra oil for creaminess, you can control the quality of that oil. Like most nut butters, it’s not time consuming and obviously, cheaper. You can buy blanched almonds, roast them dry and process them in a high power food processor or blender until creamy. If you are lucky to have a Vitamix, you might get a creamier texture than using another food processor or blender. I have a Ninja Professional 1000W blender and a 7 cup Kitchen Aid for a food processor. So far I only made nut butters in the food processor (using high speed), but I’d like to see how the blender would work.
How to make almond butter. Now, you’ve probably noticed that out of all nuts, almonds seem to be the most dry, because they contain the least amount of fat. So that makes them harder to become a creamy butter, but not impossible. They are also not as flavorful as the other nut butters. For some extra fat (and taste) you can add some coconut oil, or cacao butter. Roasting also brings out some of the oils and gives extra flavor. To make my almond butter, I added 25g of cacao butter to 7 oz of roasted blanched almonds, 1 tsp cacao powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt. Due to the cacao butter which gets solid at lower temperatures, your butter will get solid in the fridge. I see this as a great base for a almond butter bar or other non bake treats.
Recipe: Almond butter plant paradox cups. This is what I make with almond butter when I have some. It is the easiest thing to make, requires no baking and just few ingredients. For a small batch (about 10 mini cups), you need 1/4 cup white / blanched almond butter (any of the above brands), 1/4 cup coconut butter (softened), 1/4 cup dark chocolate (melted) + 1tbsp coconut butter, 2 drops of stevia. Shredded coconut, optional. You need mini muffin paper liners.
Mix and soften the almond butter with coconut butter (that might require few minutes in the microwave, or on top of steaming boiling water – my favorite way to do it. Add the stevia drops. In a separate bowl mix and melt the chocolate + coconut butter (optional you can add another drop of stevia is you find the chocolate too dark). Fill your paper cups 2/3 with the almond butter mixture. Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes (or for faster cooling 10 mins in the freezer). Take them out and add the melted chocolate mixture on top. You can sprinkle some shredded coconut on top if you want. Cool in the fridge or even freezer before eating. I like to keep mines in the freezer and take them out few minutes before I want to eat one.
Savory snacks. One of my favorite ways to eat blanched almonds is roast them with extra virgin olive oil and Himalayan pink salt and serve them as savory snacks (coat them with evoo and salt and roast them for about 10 minutes at 350F). Marcona almonds work best for this but I’ve done it with normal almonds and they are as delicious. Serve them with a cheese platter and a glass of red vino.
Almond cheese. I don’t know how to make this, but I’m sure you will find plenty of recipes online if you feel adventurous. Whenever I fell like having non-dairy cheese, I buy the KiteHill brand (I find at Whole Foods, unfortunately since it’s perishable you will probably have to buy from a local store), they have one almond cream cheese and one ricotta cheese. They are both surprisingly delicious, but the ricotta is awesome. Also quite expensive. Below are few recipes and ideas on how to use it:
I haven’t covered anything about almond nutrition, but that’s not my expertise area and that’s information easily available online. I hope you found this article useful, if you have more questions please comment below, and I can add the answer to this article.