One gem you should always have stocked in your pantry is a big bag of almonds. They're packed with essential vitamins like biotin, vitamin E, vitamin B2, magnesium and fiber. (via World's Healthiest Foods) Almonds contain monounsaturated fats, the "good" fats that help boost your heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease. You've probably heard that if you're trying to lose weight, add almonds to your diet. According to Healthy Eating, the fiber, protein and fat found in almonds help fill you up and quenches that urge to eat more. Because they help regulate blood sugar, they also help fight cravings. There's evidence that almonds also help block the absorption of calories. If that's not a super food, what is? You might love almonds so they're a welcome addition to your diet. But for those of you who don't enjoy them and choke them down because they're good for you, here are a few ways you can eat them and actually enjoy them.
Sliced on a salad: You can buy sliced almonds at the grocery store, usually hanging around near the salad greens. Served this way, they're more of a subtle hint of sweet to your salad or oatmeal. Maybe your biggest beef with whole almonds is the way they don't quite crunch and they might get stuck in your teeth. This way, you can avoid those nuisances and still get the benefits.
>> Read more: Why You Should Incorporate Nuts Into Your Diet
Crushed in yogurt: Crushed almonds can add texture to your yogurt. You can also mix them in with some other ingredients like a few chocolate chips and some of your other favorite nuts for a trail mix type of snack. Combining it with your favorite flavors makes it easy to up your intake of this super food.
Baked in a casserole: Sprinkle chopped almonds on your Skinny Chicken Veggie Casserole or Cheesy Twice Baked Potato & Broccoli Casserole before you bake it to add a healthy crunch.
Almond butter and jelly sandwich: Substitute your beloved peanut butter with the almond variety to get the heart-healthy benefits in a creamier form. Not only will you be adding a healthier option to your diet but you'll eliminate the fatty disadvantages of peanut butter. You can also use almond butter in your morning shakes!
>> Read more: 14 Drool-Inducing Ways to Use Almond Butter
Dark chocolate covered: This mouth-watering duo combines two ingredients that can help with heart health. With such great benefits, you can't deny your favorite comfort food wrapped around the nut that seems to do it all.
Added to your baked goods: Toss some chopped almonds in when you're making cookies or brownies next time you cheat a little. Maybe then you won't feel so bad for breaking the rules and giving in to that sweet tooth.
Added to your soup: Chop them up nice and fine to add them to your soups. They can take the place of crackers as a filler and add even healthier benefits to soups like this Slow Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Soup or Stuffed Pepper Soup.
Get creative with ingredients like almonds that can really pack a punch to the health benefits of your food. Dropping them in a baggie for lunch or a midday snack might be the easiest course of action, but keep them on hand to try in your favorite recipes so you can take full advantage of their nutrients, even if you don't necessarily love the flavor.
>> Check out these other grab n' go healthy snack options.