8 Healthy Almond Recipes

From milk alternatives to creamy pesto to nut loaf, the humble almond is full of possibilities

Credit: Flickr/Tom Lin

Almonds aren’t just for snacking anymore. This versatile and nutrient-filled nut can be used in a multitude of creative ways

It’s about time the humble almond matured beyond its traditionally salted seasonings. This highly versatile and nutrient packed nut, actually the seed or pit found inside of almond fruit (which is why some people allergic to most nuts are able to eat them) contains essential nutrients like protein, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin E, and monosaturated (healthy) fats.

Almonds help strengthen your bones, lower bad cholesterol, increase heart health, rejuvenate the skin, and contain anti-oxidants, which help protect cells from damage by things like air pollution and bad (oxidized) fats in fried foods.

What’s more, these tasty nuts can be eaten plain or turned into a host of healthy alternatives to milk, butter, oil, and flour, giving you the tools to make healthier dishes and even skin care products.

To get you started, here are 8 things you can easily make with almonds at home.

Credit: Ann Danilevich

Almond Milk

With its delicious nutty taste and high nutrient content, almond milk is more popular than ever. However, store-bought almond milk often contains preservatives and additives (such as flavours, gums, or carrageenan). Homemade almond milk is fresher, doesn’t have any ingredients you can’t pronounce, and is super easy to make.

Drink it straight, add it to a smoothie, cereal or granola, or use it to make creamy salad dressings. You can also heat it up and froth it using a handheld frother to top up your favourite latte.

Ann’s Vanilla-Cardamom Almond Milk

This recipe builds on basic almond milk with the addition of vanilla and cardamom. Once you get the hang of it, try experimenting with other flavours to make your own variations.

To get the most nutrients from your almonds, opt for raw (non-irradiated or unpasteurized) almonds.


  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • Filtered water (for soaking)
  • 4 to 5 cups of water
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla bean powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 to 2 tsp of raw honey


  1. In a large bowl, soak the almonds in filtered water for about 8 hours. It’s often easiest to do this overnight.
  2. Drain the water from the almonds and discard it, and give the nuts a quick rinse.
  3. Put the nuts into a blender with 4 to 5 cups of filtered water.
  4. Blend the nuts and water until you get a white milky mixture and an almost smooth texture (about 30 to 45 seconds).
  5. Strain and squeeze the mixture through a reusable produce bag (such as those from 3BBags or another brand available at your local health food store) into a large bowl. You can also use a cheesecloth, but I find they are more difficult to work with and clean.
  6. Put the leftover nut pulp into a container for later use. Give your blender a quick rinse.
  7. You now have your basic unflavoured almond milk. To add flavour, pour your milk back into the blender and add the vanilla, cardamom, and honey. Blend until well mixed.
  8. Pour your milk into a storage container and enjoy! Your homemade almond milk will last about 4 days in the fridge.

Credit: Flickr/elana’s pantry

Curried Almonds

Raw almonds are a tasty, filling snack, but if you’re missing the typical salty seasonings, add some kick with curry instead.


  1. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add in the almonds and coat them in the oil.
  3. Then, add your favourite curry spices such as turmeric, coriander powder, cumin, and a bit of Himalayan sea salt and nutmeg.
  4. Cook for a few minutes, then put into a bowl to let cool, and serve.

You can also bake the nuts in the oven (for about 15 minutes) or a dehydrator (for about 8 hours) to get the same effect if you don’t want to fry them.

Credit: Flickr/Lori L. Staltery

Almond Muffins

Why stop at sprinking almonds on top of your muffins? If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, extra protein, or simply a nuttier taste in your muffins, almonds are just the thing.

Most health food stores sell ready-made almond flour, but you can also use equal amounts of any flour and nut pulp (like the crumbly nuts left over from your almond milk). I find this combination works well for most muffin recipes.

Credit: Flickr/Isabelle Boucher

Tart Crusts

When you want to make a quick, simple crust for a tart, reach for some almonds. This raw crust is made from crushed almonds and works great with nut pulp left over from almond milk.


  1. Mix 1 ½ cup of almonds with 1 cup of dried fruit (dates, apricots, or raisins) in a food processor until it forms into a mass.
  2. Spread the dough inside a wax-paper-covered dish.
  3. Refrigerate for about 2 hours and then add the filling of your choice. You don’t even need to cook this one!

Credit: Flickr/ndh

Nut Loaf

At my house, no holiday is complete without a nut loaf. Nut loaves are filling and packed with nutrients. The basics involve combining a variety of crushed nuts with vegetables, mushrooms, rice, herbs, and eggs and baking the mixture in a loaf pan for about 45 minutes (depending on the recipe).

Serve a nut loaf with mushroom gravy at your next dinner party; even the meat lovers will gobble it up.

Credit: Flickr/listentoreason

French Macarons

Did you know that those fancy colourful French macarons you see in boutique bakeries are made with almonds? Although these take a bit more culinary prowess, with practice everyone can master this almond delicacy. Most recipes call for crushed almonds or almond meal. What a perfect way to use up that extra nut pulp. For filling try chocolate ganache or your favourite jam.

Credit: Flickr/Yannic Meyer

Almond Pesto

Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, but it’s just as tasty with almonds.


  1. Combine about a cup of basil, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 to 2 chopped garlic cloves, ¼ cup of almond pulp (or crushed almonds), a teaspoon of lemon, salt, and pepper in a food processor.
  2. Add more basil or olive oil until you get the desired consistency.
  3. Mix with pasta or grilled vegetables and enjoy!

Credit: Ann Danilevich

Almond Face Scrub

Almond oil and vitamin E (also called tocopherol) are often found in skincare products because they help protect skin from damage and prevent premature aging. But you don’t need to buy a fancy lotion to get these benefits. Make an almond skin scrub instead from three simple ingredients: almonds, honey and water.

First, make your almond milk. Then, you’ll need equal parts almond pulp, plain almond milk, and honey (about ¼ cup each will do). Mix all the ingredients together in a container and seal with a tight-fitting lid, and voila, your homemade almond face scrub is ready to use! This scrub will keep in the fridge for 5 days to a week. And, yes it’s okay to eat some if it happens to fall into your mouth.