Almonds are an ancient food thought to have originated in regions in western Asia and North Africa. The Romans referred to almonds as the "Greek nut" in reference to the civilization suggested to have first cultivated them.
The cultivation of almonds in North America happens in California, the only state that produces them.
The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. Like its cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears fruits with stone-like seeds (or pits) within.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, and a good source of fiber and antioxidants. They are also a very good source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, riboflavin and vitamin E.
We use ground almonds or almond paste in some of our sweets, such as our macarons, frangipane and almond cake, and to thicken our pumpkin pie filling.
We do not use nut flours in our breads because they are a high allergen, but if you are ok with almonds, they are a great option for gluten-free flour in bread baking. This is a very popular flour for paleo diets.
Find out more about almonds here.