Things you never knew about almonds
We all love a good old almond snack, some like them raw others prefer them roasted and salted. However you like to satisfy your almond craving, here are a few facts that you probably didn't know, or just didn't think of.
They grow on trees
Almonds grow on trees, not just any trees, probably some of the most beautiful trees when they are in full spring bloom! Part of the Prunus family, they are stone fruit, the same as a Peach tree. Technically they are hard-shelled fruit! Well, what do you know, a nut that's a fruit!
A good low-calory option
Up in the ranks, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are all tied at 160 Calories per 28grams serving. They are also rich in calcium, with a good dose of healthy fats (9grams), plus 6 grams protein and 3.5grams fiber all packed into a handful (28grams) of nuts!
You can make Almond Milk
Just pop your almonds into a food processor, add some sweetener if you like and water, voila! Bob's your uncle!
Raw is not so Raw
According to huffingtonpost.com, two salmonella outbreaks, one in 2001 and one in 2004, were traced back to raw almonds from California. Since 2007, the USDA has consequently required almonds to be pasteurized before being sold to the public. The FDA has approved several methods of pasteurization “that demonstrate effectiveness in achieving a reduction of possible contamination in almonds while not impacting their quality,” according to the Almond Board of California. However, opponents of almond pasteurization argue that one such method, propylene oxide processes, poses health risks greater than that of salmonella since the EPA has classified propylene oxide as a human carcinogen in instances of acute exposure.
Want to know more about how almonds are grown?
Almond tree climate requirements
Almond trees thrive in mildly cold, wet winters and dry, hot summers with a lot of sunshine. They don’t tolerate floods or overly wet soil. Thus almond trees won’t be able to grow or bear fruit in more tropical or cold areas. Almond trees have deep roots and need deep, well-draining sandy soil.
Almonds originated from the Middle East but spread throughout the world with the largest almond production now in California, USA. Almond trees can be found in the Mediterranean, USA, Northern Africa, Iran, South Africa & Australia.
Almond trees grow to a height of 4 – 6 meters with a diameter of 3 – 4 meters, (Netafim, 2018). Almond trees can live a long time, but the lifetime of a commercial orchard is 30 – 40 years. They can start farming almonds when they are 2 years old, but the maximum yield is only 7 – 9 years.
Life Cycle & Harvest
Almond trees usually begin to produce blossoms in Spring, (February – March), depending on the variety this could vary. The blossoms are a beautiful light pink or white colour.
Next, it’s time for pollination, the best way to accomplish this is with the help of bees, which is why populations of bees are brought to the orchards. But for bees to be able to pollinate the blossoms sunny, warm weather is needed.
From March to June the blossoms begin to form into the almonds with the shell hardening and kernel forming. Between July and August, the hull begins to split open slightly, showing the almond shell and allowing it to dry. Just before harvest time, the hulls split open completely and that is when the almonds are ready for harvest.
Almonds are harvested from August to October. Most farmers use machines to harvest almonds. Mechanical tree “shakers” are used to shake the trees and make the almonds fall to the ground. The almonds are then left to dry naturally for 8 – 10 days before they are swept into rows and picked up by machines.
The drying process of the almonds is critical for a successful harvest. The next step is transporting the almonds in their shells to a roller where the shells, hulls and all other objects are removed. Every part of the harvest is used, even the shells and hulls. The shells are used to feed livestock. The almonds are then sized, packaged and sold as wholesale almonds.
Our almonds are unblanched naturally sweet almonds from the USA. They are firm, dry, and not too crisp or leathery. Almonds have a brown exterior with light ivory interior.
We make it our priority to bring you only the best quality nuts. Our supplier is sustainable and one of the best almond suppliers in the world.
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