Wowed by Almonds at David Adjeys Scarpetta
(HealthCastle.com) Last week, while I was attending the Dietitians of Canada Annual Conference in Toronto, I was invited by the California Almond Board to attend a dinner with about 10 other dietitians at David Adjey’s Scarpetta restaurant. I knew the meal was going to be almond-inspired, and since I had never really thought about using almonds in cooking for anything other than a crust for fish, I was very intrigued to see what the chefs at this top restaurant would do.
We dug into an amazing six-course meal, with almonds featured in all courses. It turns out almonds are very versatile! The reason I’m so excited to share this with you is that almonds are a serious nutrition powerhouse. Almonds are a great plant-based protein that also offers fiber. They contain Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant (and have an ORAC value 3.5 times greater than green tea!) as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. So getting more almonds into your diet by using them in your day-to-day cooking is a great idea.
A Tip Straight from David Adjey
I got a chance to pick David Adjey’s brain and ask for specific suggestions on how to use almonds in day-to-day cooking. He said that almonds work very well with sweet vegetables, and especially sweet root vegetables. For example, a parsnip puree would be a great pairing with chopped almonds.
Me and David Adjey
All of us were eager to pick David's brain!
Five Easy Ways to Add Eat More Almonds
The main thing I learned is that almonds can be much more than a snack or a crust for fish. Here are five easy ways to incorporate almonds into your regular meal planning.
- Use almonds in salads, like the salad topping for this Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola & Toasted Almonds.
- Use almonds in baking, like these Golden Door Banana Almond Berry Cupcakes with Low Fat Vanilla Icing or these Crispy Fig and Almond Rolls (or try using almond flour for gluten-free baking).
- Make a creamy but healthy sauce for vegetables, as in this Endive and Fennel Gratin.
- Use almonds instead of pine nuts in pesto.
- And, of course, use almonds as a crust for fish (or chicken), like this Almond-Crusted Salmon.