You know almonds: They’re the perennial nutritious food. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s down on this tree nut.
The obsession with almonds can be traced way back to 1400 B.C., when the nuts were mentioned in the Bible. Later, almond trees took root in modern-day Spain, Morocco, Greece, and Israel, and eventually, almond trees found a home in California. But it wasn’t until the 20th century that the California almond industry blossomed. Today, almonds grow on over half a million acres and are the state’s top agricultural export.
If you were to look at an almond on the tree, it’d appear nothing like you’re used to seeing in your salads and trail mix. Almonds have a hard, green shell, which cracks open right before harvest. After harvest, they’re dried, and the shell and hull are removed. That’s when they look like the little brown almonds you know and love.
Today, you can buy almonds in various forms: whole, sliced, slivered, or chopped, or as almond flour, milk, paste, or oil. Each is uniquely delicious in its own right, and all are good for you.