INDIA, December 2022: Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most awaited celebrations of the year. As comes December, it is time for X-mas trees, jingling bells, caroling choirs and secret Santas. Starting from get-togethers and dinner parties, surprises, holidays and gifts, Christmas has something in store for everyone. Adding to this is the winter chill and the sweater-weather which makes it even more merry.
While Christmas is exciting for a number of reasons, the variety of lip-smacking scrumptious foods is what most of us look forward to. This year, make conscious and informed food choices and enjoy a merry and yet healthy Christmas.
Almonds are indeed a gift of good health which you can give to yourself, friends and family. Known to contain a host of essential nutrients including vitamin E, protein, iron, riboflavin, manganese and folate amongst others, almonds are a nutritious and healthy snack. Nutritional benefits aside, almonds are crunchy nuts which can be paired with many food items. Christmas offers the opportunity to refresh your cooking style and try out newer recipes that are delicious and healthy.
Leading Bollywood Actress and Celebrity, Soha Ali Khan, mentioned, “Christmas is one of the most sought-after time for us at home. I love to decorate our house with lights, an ornamented Christmas tree, and bake delicious goodies with my daughter. However, amidst all this fun, I always make sure we resort to healthful food options and ingredients to keep our health intact. I bake our Christmas special cake with almond flour instead of maida. I also garnish it with crushed almond flakes as it makes the cake more nutritious. Almonds are a source of several nutrients such as vitamin E, protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. making them a great addition to our diet.”
According to Fitness and Celebrity instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, “Festivals in general are a time for merriment and parties. It is also a time when many of us tend to neglect our diet and fitness schedule. An easy way to counter this, is to opt for healthier snacks like roasted or flavored almonds, fresh fruit or oatmeal which will help keep you satiated without adding empty calories.”
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi said, “Christmas is a great time to spend quality time with our family and indulge in feasts. However, one must not lose sight of one’s health in the process. If you want to take care of yourself while having fun at the same time, ensure that you keep a check on what you consume and never miss out on your workout routine. It can be replacing fried foods with healthier options like handful of almonds, and going for a walk at least for thirty to sixty minutes. Almonds as an alternative to fried, unhealthy food can help you in the long run. Eating them daily can add to your health as well as keep you satiated for a long time. In fact, research studies found that eating a handful of almonds may help in weight and diabetes management, improve heart health and boost our immune system.”
Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy, said, “During Christmas time, the never-ending potlucks with friends and family make us indulge in rich, and calorie-laden food, which can take a toll on our health and fitness. A healthy substitute like almonds is what all of us need at this time. Research studies also suggest that nuts like almonds not only offer goodness in every bite but can also help manage your heart health and weight better.”
Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Neha Ranglani said, “Christmas is a great time to exchange gifts with the people we love. I personally believe in sharing gifts which will help in adding to their health. That’s why I prefer gifting almonds to my friends and family. They are a source of several important nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, iron etc. and are a versatile ingredient which can be used for many food preparations – especially Christmas inspired recipes. Adding to that, research studies also suggest that daily consumption of almonds may have a positive impact on type 2 diabetes, heart health and weight management. They truly are a gift of good health.”
Renowned Kannada actress, Pranitha Subhash said, “My family loves Christmas simply because it gives them an opportunity to indulge in sweet delicacies. To avoid overindulgence, I keep a box of flavored or coated almonds handy around the house, so all of us munch on healthier snacks during the season. Almonds make for a healthy snacking option as well as they offer a host of beneficial nutrients such as Vitamin E, protein, calcium amongst others.”
Renowned Indian film & television actress, Nisha Ganesh said, “Christmas is celebrated across the world where everyone reunites with their near and dear ones. This time calls for exchanging gifts and indulging in good food with our friends and family. However, keeping in mind our health and lifestyle, I am planning to include an assortment of almonds in all the Christmas gift hampers. Almonds are known to be a gift of good health and provide an array of nutrients like vitamin E, protein etc. that are good for our health.”
Here is a recipe by Almond Board of California to make your Christmas merrier!
Gluten-free almond cake
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Almond Powder – 350 g
Egg (Separated) – 200 g
Honey – 100 g
Baking Soda – 10g
Vanilla Essence – 10 g
Salt – 5 g
Honey – 20 g
Sliced almonds – 50 g
Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat a 9-inch pan with Butter and flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Beat 4 egg yolks, 100g honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the almond powder and beat on low until combined. Then, beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, but not stiff enough to hold peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely. Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Tip: Make sure that the almonds are toasted a little before you make a powder and there is absolutely no moisture in the grinder jar to avoid any lumps in the cake
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.almonds.in