Starting Navroz 2014, The Ismaili Nutrition Centre launched a series of articles on simple ideas for popular foods. New entries in this A to Z of different fruits, vegetables and everyday ingredients will be published every two weeks, to build greater awareness of basic nutrition and encourage readers try healthy and easy ideas for preparing a range of tasty dishes.
You may have memories of your grandma telling you to eat “saath (seven) badaam a day.” Well, research suggests that she was giving you good advice!
Badaam, like all nuts, are a good source of protein, but a handful of around 25 badaam (28 grams / 1 ounce) have also been shown to be heart-protective as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. A 28 gram serving will give around 200 Calories and almost 7 grams of protein. (By comparison, you get 6 grams of protein in an egg). Badaam also provide fibre, and are a source of vitamin E, magnesium and calcium.
Three things to do with badaam
- Chop them: Toss chopped badaam into dhal, vegetable curry, salad or pasta dishes to add crunch and flavour. No need to add meat since you'll get protein from the nuts. Or mix chopped badaam into your favourite breakfast cereal to give you a healthy start to the day. Adding nuts will help make your breakfast more filling, reducing the need for unhealthy mid-morning snacks.
- Grind them: If you like Shrikand, try a speedy variation – add badaam to low fat plain yogurt, and sweeten with chopped or dried fruit of your choice. It makes a tasty dessert or in between meal snack.
- Blend them: Try making your own almond milk by soaking 1 cup of almonds overnight, then blending with 2 cups of fresh water. Add some cinnamon, vanilla or elachi (cardamom) for extra flavour. If you choose to strain the “milk” remember that you will be losing the fibre.
Choose unsalted roasted badaam and flavour with chilli powder instead of salt.