Almonds are a type of tree nut and are the seeds of the almond tree. They are native to the Middle East and North Africa but are now grown worldwide. Almonds are a popular food ingredient used in baking and cooking. They are also a good source of nutrition and contain vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Almonds are sliced before adding in recipes. They are either divided into two parts for decoration or sliced thinly for garnishing or preparation as ingredients. Slicing almond is a hard and time-consuming process which requires practice and effort. You may confuse about how to slice almonds perfectly and in a short time. There are different methods to cut almonds very quickly and perfectly.
How To Slice Almonds With a Knife?
Slicing almonds with a knife, the knife must be sharp enough to slice almonds thinly. You also need a cutting board for placing almonds and slicing them.
Almonds can be sliced with peels or after removing peels. If you want to remove the peel, soak them in boiled water for an hour or more. The peel will be softened and removed quickly. Follow the given steps for slicing perfectly.
- Step 1: Place the cutting board on the kitchen counter. Make sure that the cutting board is washed and dry. If it is not cleaned thoroughly, the taste of vegetables and other ingredients will mix into the almonds.
- Step 2: Align the knife with the cutting board, so the blade is perpendicular to the board.
- Step 3: Now, place almonds on the cutting board. Hold the almond in one hand and use the other to hold the knife. Place the blade of the knife on top of the almond and then apply pressure to the almond to slice it.
- Step 4: Another method is to place the almond on a cutting board and then use a knife to slice it. Whichever way you choose, make sure to use a sharp knife to avoid crushing the almonds.
How To Slice Almonds In A Food Processor?
Food processors are the quickest way to slice almonds in less time. Large-sized food processors are used commercially to prepare almonds in large quantities. You can dice, chop, and blend almonds separately with other ingredients.
If almonds are cold and placed in the refrigerator before slicing, they will slice quickly. Do not fill the processor so they can be sliced thoroughly. To slice almonds in a food processor, start placing them in the processor’s bowl. Then, use the slicing attachment to slice the almonds into thin pieces. Be sure to pulse the processor rather than run it continuously so that you do not end up with almond flour. Once the almonds are sliced, remove them from the processor.
How To Slice Almonds On A Mandoline Slicer?
Almonds can be sliced on a mandoline slicer, but it will be difficult and risky. Sharp blades of mandoline can cut your fingers, so be careful when slicing on mandoline.
When slicing almonds in a mandoline slicer, it is essential to use the right blade. A sharp blade will help to ensure that the almonds are cut evenly. You can use small grating blades for slicing nuts also. It is also important to adjust the thickness setting on the mandoline slicer so that the almonds are cut to the desired thickness.
Place the almonds on the blades and start pushing them on the blades. Push in back and forth motion continuously. The blades will slice almonds very thinly. When slicing is finished, remove the sliced almonds from the mandoline. You can use these almonds for garnishing.
How Are Almonds Sliced Commercially?
There are different methods used in the industry for slicing almonds commercially. However, the most common process involves the following steps:
- Blanching: The almonds are first blanched in hot water to remove the skin, making them easier to slice.
- Drying: After blanching, the almonds are dried to remove excess moisture and prevent them from sticking together during slicing.
- Slicing: The almonds are then sliced using commercial almond slicers, which use sharp blades to slice the almonds uniformly.
- Sorting and Packaging: The sliced almonds are then sorted and packaged according to their size and thickness.
Traditional Methods Of Slicing Almonds Commercially:
Historically, almonds were sliced by hand, using a sharp knife or a mandoline. While hand-slicing is still used in some small-scale operations, it is not a practical method for commercial-scale production. However, some manufacturers still use traditional methods to produce sliced almonds.
Different Modern Methods of Slicing Almonds Commercially
Apart from the traditional method of slicing almonds commercially, there are other methods used in the industry, including:
- Water Jet Slicing: This method uses high-pressure water jets to slice the almonds, resulting in a cleaner and more uniform cut.
- Laser Slicing: This method uses lasers to slice the almonds, providing a precise cut and reducing wastage.
- Ultrasonic Slicing: This method uses ultrasonic waves to slice the almonds, resulting in a clean cut without crushing or damaging the almonds.
- Mechanical slicing: Mechanical slicing is the most common method used to slice almonds commercially. This method involves feeding whole almonds through a machine that uses a series of blades to slice the almonds into thin, uniform pieces. The machine can be adjusted to produce slices of different thicknesses, depending on the needs of the manufacturer.
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Types Of Almonds
Almonds have different types; some are common worldwide, and others are specific to countries and regions. Despite their types, all of them are nutritious and beneficial. Some almonds are sweet and few or bitter. A few major types of almonds are discussed below:
- Nonpareil: Nonpareil almonds are most widely used compared to other almonds. Their outer shell is very thin, so that they can remove from their outer shell easily. Nonpareil almonds are smooth, flat and have light colour.
- Carmel Almonds: Carmel almonds are usually used for blanching and roasting. They can be quickly processed and have a soft shell.
- Butte Almonds: The shell of butte almonds is semi-hard so that they can be easily recognised. They have light colour with a smooth surface.
- Peerless Almonds: Peerless almonds are also used widely throughout the world. Their shell is tough and has a light colour.
- Sonora Almonds: Sonora almonds are highly nutritious and help boost the human body’s immune system. They are very helpful for losing weight.
Benefits Of Almonds
Almonds are a versatile and delicious nut that provides various health benefits. They are a good source of protein and fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Also, almonds contain healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Regular almonds make your bones strong and healthy and prevent fractures. They control the blood sugar level, which is very helpful for patients with diabetes.
Uses Of Almonds
Almonds are widely used in both sweet and savory dishes. They can be eaten whole, sliced, or chopped. Almonds are used in various dishes, including breakfast cereals, granola bars, and baked goods. They can also be used in savory dishes, such as salads, stir-fries, and rice dishes. Almonds are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Peeled almonds are eaten daily to maintain health.
How To Toast Sliced Almonds?
To toast sliced almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them, so they do not burn. Once they are toasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Almonds are most widely eaten and liked than other nuts. They are nutritious and easy to grow. They are used in bread, cheeses, pastries, cakes and cookies. In Spain, it was said that “an almond never falls far from a tree” because a person would always have almonds nearby. You can slice almonds in multiple ways. Slice them thinly to give a pleasant presentation of dishes.
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