We all know how much I love nuts, seeds and whole-grains in my cooking. They’re versatile, delicious and packed with loads of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, and using these types of fats in place of saturated fats has been shown to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s pretty amazing what a little nut or seed can store within its tiny shell!
So we know that nuts and seeds are healthy and really great for us, but how do they get from farm to plate? Today in partnership with NuVitality, I’m not only sharing a gorgeous recipe (see below) but a little insight into how these guys grow their almonds right here in Victoria!
NuVitality’s almond orchards are positioned along the Murray River here in Victoria, Australia as well as in New South Wales and South Australia. This is a great place to grow almonds due to the constant water supply from the river and warm Summer weather. In fact, the conditions are SO good for almond growth in this area that in 2013, Australia was the second largest producer of almonds behind America with the crop almost entirely coming from the region along the Murray River! I had no idea we produced almonds at all let alone so many!
First step in getting the almonds home to you is picking them! Then they are stored until they’re ready to be hulled and shelled. This takes place mechanically where up to 10 tonne (!!) of almonds can be hulled and shelled an hour! As the almonds are laid out to be shelled, they are sorted twice to ensure on the best quality and intact almonds make the cut. Then it’s off to packing, where 6 to 10 tonne of almonds can be packed per hour. Once packaged, they are pasteurised to ensure the safety of the almonds for human consumption. Then they are stored in a temperature-controlled warehouse until they are ready to head off to the shops and their new homes at your kitchen table! Have you guys ever thought about how your food gets to your plate? I know I do!
Now for the best bit, I’m sharing a Blood Orange Cheesecake recipe that uses NuVitality almonds to make the base and cashews to make the ‘cheese’ part of the cake rather than traditional cream cheese. It’s unbelievable how creamy and decadent the cashews become when blended until smooth with some pure maple syrup, a little coconut and some citrus juice. You’ll struggle to stop yourself from licking your plate clean!
Get the recipe here on the NuVitality website and impress your family and friends this festive season with this gorgeous dessert!
Carina West Operations (2016). Retrieved from http://www.selectharvests.com.au/carina-west-operations
Nuts and health (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/general-nutrition/nuts-and-health
Nuts and seeds (2016). Retrieved from
Almond Board of Australia (2016). Retrieved from http://www.australianalmonds.com.au/enjoy/australian_almonds/where-are-australian-almonds-grown