Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to keep the almonds and lose the salt

Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis)Image via Wikipedia
Shelled almonds, like the raw, unsalted ones available at Costco.

I've cut down almost completely on bread and pizza to lose weight,  but find myself snacking frequently on crunchy roasted or blanched almonds from Costco in Hackensack.

But as I wrote in a previous post, salt in the almonds became a concern after I looked at the labels and discovered the more expensive Kirkland Signature Marcona blanched almonds from Spain have twice as much salt as the Kirkland dry-roasted almonds from California. 

Comparing salt

A 28-gram or 1-ounce serving of the Spanish almond contains 9% sodium, compared with 4% for the same serving size of the California almond (on the daily value scale). The former costs $7.99 for 17.63 ounces, while you'll pay $8.89 for 40 ounces of the latter. They are both delicious.

So I bought a three-pound bag of Kirkland Signature raw, unsalted almonds and added some of them to the jar of the Kirkland dry-roasted almonds, but I found the raw almonds weren't my cup of tea.

I fished them out, and put them in the oven for an hour at a low 250 degrees, and they took on a nice crunch. I then roasted the rest of the raw, unsalted almonds. When the salted almonds are finished, I'll just buy the unsalted ones, roast them and put them in the empty jar.

By roasting the raw almonds, I've eliminated salt from a favorite snack, which is delicious when paired with fruit and cheese, and saved money, too. Three pounds  of raw almonds cost only $9.99.

The label notes almonds are a heart-healthy food. They are described as U.S. #1, "supreme whole." 

Breakfast from Costco

My breakfast organic spring mix salad with wild lox, sheep's milk and reduced-fat Swiss cheeses, sun-dried and fresh Campari tomatoes, and sliced cucumber -- all of it came from Costco in Hackensack.

So did the Dijon mustard in my dressing of Greek extra-virgin olive oil and Italian balsamic vinegar. If you have to give up bread, a filling salad is one way to compensate. 

Dinner from H Mart

I found fresh, wild-caught whole whiting at H Mart in Fort Lee for $3.49 a pound on Monday, as well as bunches of fresh spinach for $1.79 each. 

I cut the two fish into two or three pieces and cooked them in Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce (with ponzu) and chopped fresh ginger.

I washed and then blanched the spinach in hot water, put it into a second pan with a little olive oil and seasoned it. 

I served the fish and spinach with organic brown rice cooked in organic chicken broth, both from Costco. (I let the rice soak in the broth in a rice cooker for several hours.)

We started off with kimbap -- seaweed-wrapped rolls of rice, vegetables and imitation crab meat. I found a 22-ounce package for $4.99 in the prepared-food section of H Mart.

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1 comment:

  1. I ignored my own advice and roasted the raw almonds for 45 minutes or an hour at a higher 375 degrees -- and many had an unpleasant burnt taste.

    So, I'm going back to roasting them at the lower, 250 degrees.


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