3 Fun And Easy Things To Do With Almonds

Blue Diamond Gift Shop in downtown SacramentoBy Alyssa Green

Christmas is just around the corner, have you finished up your shopping yet?  If you have difficult-to-shop for people on your list,  almonds might be your answer.  Yep, you heard me correctly.  Almonds.

Almonds are known for their abundant health benefits and are constantly being touted as one of the healthiest foods we can eat.  High in protein and omega 3’s, the nut is often called a super food.

Well, did you know that one of the world’s leading processors of almonds is located right here in Sacramento?  Blue Diamond Growers headquarters has been a staple of downtown since 1914 and has seen almond crops grow from 2,000 tons in 1910 to a record-breaking 1.5 billion tons one hundred years later, becoming California’s largest tree crop export.

So, why are almonds so special?  Well, to quote a 1939 Blue Diamond Nutritional Research Guide, “Since the beginning of written history, the almond has been known for its nutritive and health giving properties.  In ancient writings it is mentioned as a confection, food and the oil has been found as a cosmetic and healing lotion.”  So there you have it.

We want to share with you three fun almond recipes that you can make this holiday season to give as gifts, or keep just for fun.  And they are easy enough that your kids can help out too!

Almond Butter Play DoughPlay.  A staple in every preschooler’s play cupboard should be play dough.  And what’s better than the traditional stuff?  Edible play dough!  This simple Almond Butter Play Dough recipe from grandparents.com consisting of almond butter, honey and powdered milk is easy enough for your kiddos to make…and then eat!  Follow the recipe here, maybe add some food coloring, then knead until it feels like your typical play dough.  And….voila!  Your kids will be occupied for hours….well, at least long enough for you to get the dishes done.Homemade Almond Lip Balm

Wear.  Make, wear and give away some almond lip balm.  I don’t know about you, but during the winter months, I must have a good lip gloss/lip balm to protect my lips from getting chapped.   Why spend $2 on a teeny tiny tube of chap stick, when you can make a big batch of your own Almond Lip Balm?  Here’s a quick and easy recipe to make at home.  You’ll need almond butter, shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, lip color and flavor oil (all ingredients easily found in any health food store.)  Follow the recipe here and then use your imagination to create cute little tubes of lip balm to give away as giftsAlmond Cookies.  Don’t forget to include your daughter in the making…she will LOVE this.  Trust me.

Eat.  You can wear almonds, you can play with almonds, but don’t forget to eat some almonds too!  This easy and delicious cookie recipe is a great holiday treat to give to friends and family.  All you need to make these pretty Almond Cookies are almonds, of course, almond extract, and your other typical cookie ingredients.  Mix, bake and enjoy!

You never knew there was so much fun to be had in almonds, did you?!  And if none of these homemade almond gifts cut it for that really hard-to-shop-for person?  Then you’ll want to head on over to Blue Diamond’s gift shop.  There is plenty of almond snacks, foods, candy, and gifts to satisfy even the pickiest of gift recipients!

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