Rich, crunchy and gorgeous – Brown cased almonds (badaam) are not just rich in vitamins and nutrients, they’re also a real joy to cook with. Shred them over some creamy kheer, toast them to make a soft and air-light souffle or grind them to make some luscious Badaami Korma – they’re one of the most commonly found and loved nuts.
Raw Almonds vs Soaked Almonds
If your mother pleaded with you every morning to eat your daily dose of soaked almonds, then she may have been right. Choosing between soaked almonds and raw almonds isn’t just a matter of taste, it’s about picking the healthier option.
Why soaked almonds are better – Firstly, the brown peel of almonds contains tannin which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients easily.
How to soak? Soak a handful of almonds in half a cup of water. Cover them and allow them to soak for 8 hours. Drain the water, peel off the skin and store them in plastic container. These soaked almonds will last you for about a week.
Benefits of soaked almonds:
1. Help with digestion – Soaking almonds helps in releasing enzymes which in turn help with digestion. Soaking almonds releases enzyme lipase which is beneficial for digestion of fats.
2. Help with weight-loss – The monounsaturated fats in almonds curb your appetite and keep you full. So feel free to snack on them because they’ll help you avoid binge-eating and trigger weight-loss.
3. Almonds keep your heart healthy, reduce bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).
4. They are a good source of antioxidants: Vitamin E present in soaked almonds works as an antioxidant which inhibits free radical damage that prevents ageing and inflammation.
5. Fight Cancer: Soaked almonds contain Vitamin B17 which is vital for fighting cancer.
6. Flavonoid present in almonds suppresses tumor growth.
7. Help in lowering and maintaining glucose levels and regulating high blood pressure.
8. Soaked almonds contain folic acid which reduces birth defects.