Blanched Almonds are sweet almonds that have had their outer skin removed. The almonds are scalded in hot water, washed with cold water and then put through rollers that remove the thin skin.
Almonds are usually blanched before they are made into slivers and flakes, and before being used in recipes. They can be bought in stores for slightly more than regular almonds or made at home.
Selecting and Buying
If you want almonds with a roasted flavor and texture, choose those that have been "dry roasted" as they are not cooked in oil like their regular roasted counterparts. Yet, even when purchasing "dry roasted" almonds, it is important to read the label to be sure that no additional ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup or preservatives have been added.
Preparation and Use
A few quick serving ideas:
Add a punch to plain yogurt by mixing in some chopped almonds and dried fruit.
Enhance a healthy sauté of curried vegetables with sliced almonds.
Add some almond butter to a breakfast shake to boost its taste and protein content.
Almonds and apple slices make a wonderfully simple, on-the-go power snack.
Make a delightful cold rice salad with almonds, fresh garden peas and currants.
Add sliced almonds to chicken salad.
Conserving and Storing
Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, while if stored in the freezer, almonds can be kept for up to a year. Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.