How to Slice Almonds – How to Blanch, Peel, Slice, Toast, and Store Them
Loaded with fiber, healthy fats, protein, and many more nutrients, almonds (and nuts in general) are highly nutritious. And since almonds are the most readily available, they are one of the most popular nuts out there. Also, almonds give you calcium, Vitamin E, iron, and are also perfect for weight loss diets.
The best part about almonds is that they can be added to smoothies and salads. And also as a form of garnishing on so many different recipes and dishes. But then for that, you should know the correct way to slice them. But before, how about we cover some health benefits brought forth by including almonds into your diet?
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds have plenty of antioxidants. Consuming almonds with your meals minimizes the possibility of oxidative damage in the body.
Almonds are loaded with nutrients. The list includes protein, fiber, fat (healthy monounsaturated), manganese, magnesium, and Vitamin E.
Almonds provide blood sugar control. They contain low-carb content, right? And have rich levels of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. This means perfect for those with diabetes.
Almonds reduce cholesterol levels. They lower LDL (bad cholesterol) very effectively.
Almonds control hunger. After all, fiber and protein make you feel FULL for longer. And that means you end up consuming fewer calories.
There are plenty of other health benefits of almonds too, but our main focus here is what’s about to come next…
How to Slice Almonds – Blanching, Peeling, Slicing, and Toasting
Packed with healthy fats, almonds are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, Vitamin E, fiber, and more. It’s common to find whole almonds at local supermarkets. But then sliced almonds do not come by so easily. And did you know that these are prepared with the help of special machinery?
So the process of slicing and all does indeed demand a certain bit of effort. It’s not as easy as just slicing almonds. But, at the same time, it’s not a very difficult or complicated task either. I mean once you know how to go about it, the undertaking at hand becomes pretty simple to execute.
Step #1 – Preheating the Oven
Preheat your oven using its warm setting or the lowest one. Basically, the temperature should be anywhere between 100 degrees and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s between 38 degrees and 77 degrees Celsius.
Step #2 – Blanching the Almonds
Since almonds have a crunchy form and texture, blanching is necessary, not optional, if you want them to become soft enough for the task of slicing. Otherwise what happens is you get broken almond flakes.
Blanching is akin to scalding vegetables in either steam or boiling water. Now I know how this can sound a little complicated but then blanching is not all that complex you know. Simply just prepare a pot or bowlful of boiling water and ice-cold water. Use a colander to put the almonds in them over your sink and then pour the hot water first and then cold water.
Step #3 – Peeling the Skin
Do you really need to remove the skin of almonds? Well, that’s your personal choice. But eliminating the skin does make the effort of slicing easier afterward. And if you do, then just rub off the skin post-blanching. It’s easier then to get rid of the skin simply by gently rubbing the almonds with your fingers back and forth.
Step #4 – Heating the Almonds
Your oven is already pre-heated, right? So now would be a good time to place the almonds in there. This is done for the sole purpose of drying them, and not toasting.
Step #5 – Slicing the Almonds
Now don’t remove the whole batch of almonds from your oven. You want the slicing to be done on almonds that are still warm. So take small batches out of the oven.
With the help of a sharp, small knife, slice each nut on your cutting board. For example, pairing knives. Of course, a single whole almond can be sliced into several pieces. Finely slice them if what you want are almond flakes.
Step #6 – Toasting the Sliced Almonds
After all the blanching, removing of the skin, and slicing, almonds are bound to become a little soft, damp, and sad-looking. So you can breathe some life into them i.e. restore their original crunchy texture by toasting. Plus, toasting tends to activate the almond oil present inside, which imparts a richer, more enhanced flavor.
But toast almonds only when they’re still a little damp from the whole process so as to prevent the chances of burning.
- Spread the whole batch of sliced almonds on your baking tray; make sure it’s a large one. And leave gaps between these slices to avoid overlapping.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add seasonings of your choice – paprika, pepper, cayenne powder, salt, or other spices and herbs if you like.
- Now cook the almonds for 3-5 minutes. Obviously, toss the pieces around a few times during the toasting process. The goal is to turn them into a color of golden-brown.
- Then take them out of the oven and allow the slivered pieces to cool down.
What about toasting your almond flakes using a pan? On the stovetop, keep the heat between low and medium. You can just place the almond slices onto the pan and keep tossing them around to keep from burning. Once again, wait till they turn golden-brown.
And now this brings us to a very crucial aspect…
Step #7 Storing the Almonds
If you’re not going to eat your freshly sliced and toasted almond flakes immediately, then storage is what’s in the cards, right?
Needless to say, use an airtight container, glass jar, or even a resealable bag works. Storing them the right way is sure to keep the almonds from getting spoiled quickly.
If you’ve read the complete article, then you would most likely agree with me that how to slice almonds is not such a complicated job.
Plus, knowing all about the health benefits that almonds impart makes the task at hand seem more doable, isn’t it? Because who doesn’t want to live a healthy life where you eat fatty and junk foods of course but also balance it all out with highly nutritious meals.