Blue Diamond is responsible for bringing us one of out favorite non-dairy milk products, Almond Breeze Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk. And they are at it again with another great product, Blue Diamond Natural Roasted Almonds (my favorite nut). The only question here is why has it taken me so long to give these guys a try? The bright blue container caught my eye (along with the 'on sale' sign) and I quickly scooped up a container. I chose the Vanilla Bean Flavor, which coincidentally is on Health.com's list of America's Healthiest Food Buys 2008: Snacks.
The easy to use, "smart eating", flip top containers has a clear strip running down the side of the plastic container, allowing you to see your almonds inside and letting you know when you have consumed a 1 ounce serving - how clever! Now you have no excuse for eating too many - unless you just can't stop popping these tasty little vanilla creations, which is unwise but understandable. The addition of vanilla does NOT create a crunchy, sugary coating (like my former favorite Honey Roasted Almonds, which is left crying like a baby compared to these delicious morsels), though it may appear to. Instead, the texture and wholesome nature of the almond remains intact and is simply enhanced by the subtly sweet vanilla bean flavor. If you like almonds (or even think you might) you absolutely must try these.
Thankfully, these vanilla infused nuts do not stray too far from their raw counterparts. Each 1 ounce serving ( approximately 24 nuts) provides 160 calories, 14 grams of total fat (21% of the RDA) but only 1 gram is saturated fat (5% of the RDA), 25 mg of sodium (1% of the RDA), 7 grams of total carbohydrates which includes 3 grams of fiber (12% of the RDA) and a mere 3 grams of sugar plus 6 grams of protein. They are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals including 35% of vitamin E.
Almonds and other nuts have a lot of unsaturated fat, which is healthy, but you still need to control your portions. The vanilla bean flavor comes about from tossing almonds in a mixture of evaporated cane juice, natural French vanilla flavor, sea salt, corn maltodextrin and vanilla bean seeds. Some things you will not find in Blue Diamond's nutty product are artificial ingredients, cholesterol and added oil.
The fact that my favorite nut has just been kicked up a notch is fantastic. I purchased an 8 ounce container for $2.33 (on sale), and I can guarantee that once the clear strip on my blue topped container no longer reveals an array of tempting almonds, I will be back at the store in a flash.