Marcona Almonds: Benefits & Uses
What Are Marcona Almonds?
Marcona almonds are a specialized type of almond that is primarily cultivated in Spain, and they have been popular in that country for hundreds of years. In recent decades, they have been exported more regularly to other parts of the world, both for their unique flavour and their nutritional benefits. In comparison to traditional sweet almonds that can be found in almost any store or market, Marcona almonds are notably sweeter, softer, and moister. In terms of texture, these almonds are easy to mistake for macadamia nuts. Their flavour is also more potent than normal sweet almonds, and are closer to bitter almonds, making them a favourite ingredient in many desserts and other recipes that call for almonds.
These almonds tend to be plumper and slightly larger than common sweet almonds, but they are quite versatile in cooking, and if you have a good import store nearby, adding these nutrient-dense and delicious nuts to your diet is a very wise choice.
Marcona Almond Nutrition
Marcona almonds are packed with key nutrients that can have a significant impact on your overall health, including slightly fewer monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than normal almonds, as well as slightly more calories – 180 calories per ounce. The fiber content is quite high, at 3 grams per ounce, and there is also one ounce of protein. In terms of vitamins and minerals, Marcona almonds possess good amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamin E, along with various antioxidants and active ingredients.
Marcona Almond Uses
Marcona almonds are very easy to add to your daily or weekly diet, both as a snack food and an ingredient in more formal meals. Due to the flavour of these almonds, they are ideally suited for desserts, as a complement to dark chocolate, as a crushed topping on ice cream or cakes, or a ground-up ingredient in cupcakes or brownies. The buttery texture also makes them more pleasant as a salad topping than traditional almonds, which can often have an earthy feel or taste. In some countries, Marcona almonds are also paired with meats and cheese, and they are a popular addition to tapas in Spain. If you are looking for a gourmet snack, Marcona almond butter is also available in certain areas and makes for a delectable spread on bread or biscuits.
How To Store Marcona Almonds?
If you want to store Marcona almonds for an extended period of time, you will need to freeze them, as this will prevent the fats found in these nuts from going rancid. As with many other nuts, if you aren’t freezing them, you should store these almonds in an airtight container to prevent spoilage. Unlike traditional almonds, which have a lower level of fats and tend to be heartier, these softer nuts will begin to go bad within 2-3 weeks if they aren’t stored properly.
Most people who regularly buy these almonds, however, argue that it is hard to have them in the house for that long without eating them! The best advice is to keep these nuts frozen until you are ready to eat them and then consume them within a few hours or days to enjoy the best flavour and highest density of nutrients.