Almonds hail from the Mediterranean area of the Middle East and as far east as Indus. Throughout history, as far back as 1600 BC, they have been culturally significant, from the Biblical reference to Aaron’s rod, which blossomed and bore almonds, to the 100 AD Roman custom of showering newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm. In the mid 1700s, the Franciscan Padres brought the first almond tree to California from Spain. However, it wasn’t until a century later that trees were successfully planted and cultivated inland. Today, almonds are the largest nut crop in California.
Almonds have significant health benefits. They lower cholesterol, reduce LDL, raise HDL and are loaded with good fats, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. Almonds appear to not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. (Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Journal of Nutrition) One study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggests that an almond-enriched low calorie diet that is high in monounsaturated fats can help weight loss more than a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates. Almonds provide an excellent source of manganese and a good source of copper, trace minerals that are essential cofactors of a key oxidative enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase disables free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production centers in cells), thereby having a positive impact on energy. They are also loaded with protein and help prevent gallstones.
I developed this bread recipe on my own after trying several almond flour recipes at various cooking sites on line. This is gluten free, grain free and sugar free. It is also delicious and makes a very worthy substitute for sandwich bread or toast.
Almond Flour Sandwich Bread
3.5 cups almond flour
1/2 cup organic flax meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened (olive oil or coconut oil are also outstanding substitutes)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together all dry ingredients. Whisk together all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until blended. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.