National Almond Day is about celebrating one of the most adaptable, healthy and ubiquitous nuts around: the almond. The almond is one of the most widely enjoyed nuts in the world, and it’s easy to see why: the almond has a rich, smooth flavour, and can be easily paired with other delicious foods, such as chocolate. So it's no surprise that we have a day to celebrate the almond each year on February 16th, National Almond Day.
Origins of National Almond Day
It is unclear when National Almond Day began, or who started it, yet February 16th is a recognised day of almond celebration all over the world. Every year we consume a staggering 1.3 million tons of almonds globally, so it makes sense that we have a day to appreciate this popular and delicious little nut.
History of the Almond
The almond tree is native to the middle east, particularly the area we now call Iran, and is considered one of the earliest domesticated trees. The earliest known example of a domesticated almond tree was found in an archeological site in Jordan dating back to 3000BC.
Carried by merchants and traders, the almond tree gradually spread along trade routes around the Mediterranean, into Europe and Africa. Today it has spread across the world, especially to California where production of almonds began in 1850. California now accounts for nearly 80% of global almond production, and the production, processing and manufacturing of almonds in California is valued at $11 billion.
How to Celebrate National Almond Day
Celebrate National Almond Day by having a whole day of consuming almonds at every opportunity! That means eating a lot of almonds because today all sorts of delicious products have been made with almonds, from milks, to butters, snacks and sauces, almonds are everywhere.
Start your day the almond way by switch to almond milk in your morning cappuccino, latte, or flat white. While you’re at it, why not try some almond butter on your toast for breakfast, or some spreadable almond paste.
For a midday snack try a variety of almonds including plain, roasted, spiced and sweet, and for dinner add pureed almonds to a sauce or add them to cooked meat or fish.
Finish off your National Almond Day celebration with some almond desserts. You could try a delicious almond ricotta cake, a paleo friendly chocolate almond butter bar or a gluten free almond and coconut cake.
There are thousands of ways to enjoy almonds. Take your pick!
Fun Facts About Almonds
- Almond trees can grow up to 10 meters high.
- Almonds are dependent on bees for pollination.
- Almonds are a source of antioxidants and vitamin E.
- Almonds are known for reducing cholesterol and improving eyesight.
- A part of the human brain, the amygdala, is named after the almond because it is shaped just like the delicious nut.
- A single almond needs around 1 gallon (3.7 litres) of water to grow.
We wish you a very happy National Almond Day!