The almond is the seed of a tropical evergreen (Prunus Amygdalus, Baill.) The high price demanded for almonds places them, from a food standpoint, among the luxuries, appetizers and flavorings. They have, however, a decided medicinal value. Some physicians recommend an emulsion of almonds where fatty food is called for and olive oil is not well borne. Almond milk is very beneficial in cases of stomach trouble. Six almonds, blanched and eaten raw, will frequently relieve an acute attack of indigestion, provided they are thoroughly masticated.
In the United States we have fixed in our minds somewhere that almonds are digesters, so we serve them, salted and roasted, at the end of the meal. The enzymes are killed by the roasting, and the almonds become a burden rather than an aid to digestion. Serve them raw.
Bitter almonds taste like the kernel of a peach; they are only used for flavoring, and then in small quantities.
Mix one cupful of almond paste with one and a half cupfuls of warm water, and stir in sufficient bran to make a hard dough; this will take nearly one quart. Roll it to a very thin sheet, cut it into wafers four inches long and two inches wide, and bake in a moderate oven to a golden brown. The bran must be clean bran, free from flour.
Cover the almonds with boiling water; let them stand five minutes, drain, put them on a coarse towel and rub off the skins. Stand these in a cool oven, where they will dry, without browning; if they are the slightest browned, the digestive qualities are killed.
Shell and blanch the almonds. Put them in a pan, dust lightly with salt, and stand them at the oven door until they are thoroughly dried, not cooked or baked.
To be of service as digesters they must not be baked, fried or browned.
Grind blanched almonds through the finest "plate" of a meat grinder or in a nut machine, and pack the "butter" in tumblers. Keep in a cold place.
Blanch a quarter of a pound of sweet almonds, put them through the meat grinder twice, then add one ounce of butter, mix thoroughly, add a saltspoonful of salt and stir in the yolks of two eggs. When this is thoroughly mixed, fold in the well-beaten whites of the eggs. Bake in lightly greased gem pans, about two tablespoonfuls in each pan.
To take the place of bread for the diabetic patient.
Blanch and grind two ounces of shelled almonds; pound them in a mortar if possible. Drop in the whites of two eggs, one at a time, beating all the while. When well mixed and smooth, drop by spoonfuls on oiled paper and bake twenty minutes in a very moderate oven.
Blanch and grind two ounces of almonds; add to them two eggs, well beaten, and a teaspoonful of butter; mix well, add four tablespoonfuls of milk and bake in a moderate oven, in an individual mold, fifteen minutes. Serve warm.
Blanch and grind two ounces of almonds; put this "butter" into a pitcher and add gradually, stirring all the while, a half pint of cold water; stir continually for five minutes, strain through two thicknesses of cheesecloth and stand aside until palatably cold.
Where almond milk is to be used two or three times a day, it is wise to make the desired quantity in the morning, and keep it on the ice in a covered vessel. Four ounces is a feeding.
Follow the preceding recipe, and substitute milk for water. After straining add ten grains of salt to each individual quantity.
Wash and boil four tablespoonfuls of rice. When done, drain, throw it into cold water to soak for ten minutes, and drain again. Pound this in a mortar or press it through a sieve. Add twelve almonds that have been blanched and ground, and a saltspoonful of salt. Mix well, form into tiny cylinders, put them on a piece of oiled paper in the bottom of a baking pan, and bake in a quick oven ten or fifteen minutes, until a golden brown. Serve with egg, tomato or cream sauce.
These tiny, three-sided nuts are sweet and tender, but take no part whatever in diet for the sick. Beech nut oil is used in many places instead of olive oil; it is sweet and bland.