If you’ve heard that you should avoid raw almonds or, on the other hand, that you should eat them raw, you might be wondering how to eat them safely. Interestingly enough, almonds distributed in the US must be pasteurized, meaning they’re all cooked, at least a little. Glenda’s Farmhouse almonds are nurtured, harvested, packaged, and delivered here at our facilities in Vina, California.
Almonds are packed with nutrition and are prime for use as a snack or ingredient in various foods. Glenda’s Farmhouse, as a brand of Andersen & Sons Shelling, offers experience and dedication to quality with all of our products, and families can rely on us to quickly deliver almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, sea salt, almond flour, and flavored walnut crumbles directly to your door.
Understanding the Term Raw as Related to Almonds
“Raw” almonds in the United States aren’t actually raw when you understand the term to mean completely uncooked. The Almond Board of California classifies “raw almonds” as those that have been pasteurized but not roasted. Being pasteurized, these almonds are completely safe to eat.
Pasteurization is the process used to kill bacteria by heating the almonds. We use a steam treatment process which safely removes any pathogens or toxins that may exist on the product. Our pasteurizer is officially validated by a third party for each nut commodity that we pasteurize. What is that if not cooking? The almonds are definitely not “raw” in the conventional sense, but they qualify as “raw” for labeling purposes, which can confuse customers.
The Need for Pasteurization of Almonds
Almonds must be pasteurized in the US out of concern for food safety. However, unpasteurized almonds have the same potential for causing food-borne illnesses as unpasteurized milk. To understand this danger, you must look back to salmonella outbreaks in the early 2000s caused by almonds.
Those outbreaks triggered the implementation of the pasteurization law by the FDA, a rule governing the distribution of California walnuts since 2007. Many customers, however, are unaware of this rule and worry about consuming almonds labeled as raw.
Raw versus Toasted Almonds
Now that we understand that raw doesn’t necessarily mean raw in the untouched sense, but in the sense of being untoasted, do you prefer them toasted or “raw”?
Nutritionally, you actually gain more benefit from consuming them untoasted or raw. Some people prefer soaking them while others enjoy them raw with the skins still on.
Almonds contain fats, but the fats are healthy: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats are good for cardiovascular and cognitive health!
Almonds also provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. These minerals are vital to health, from blood cell production to collagen, bones, metabolism, and more.
Raw almond consumption is further beneficial by preventing gallstones, promoting weight management, protecting eye health, preventing cervical cancer, and strengthening the immune system through healthy levels of Vitamin E.
For blood sugar management and cholesterol numbers, almonds are excellent. They’re low on the glycemic index and free of cholesterol.
Since heating almonds for toasting diminishes the vitamins and minerals, give the raw version a try while snacking or cooking.
Yes, you can eat raw almonds made by Glenda’s Farmhouse. They have been pasteurized, as all California-grown almonds are. Take advantage of this nutritious, tasty, and versatile ingredient in your kitchen by keeping a supply on hand with a convenient online order from Glenda’s Farmhouse.