Nuts provide protein and are a rich source of monounsaturated heart-healthy fats, which can lower bad cholesterol and even reduce heart disease risk. Nuts and almonds also provide vitamin E, folate, potassium and essential nutrients like copper and magnesium.

Almonds are available year-round and are very versatile. This time of year you can usually find almonds in the shelled version as part of a holiday mixed nut variety pack. If you feel like trying something new, you can even find almond butter that’s an alternative to peanut butter. Then there is almond milk, used as a substitute for dairy milk. And since almonds are naturally gluten-free, ground almond flour is a popular gluten-free alternative for people with celiac disease or wheat allergies.

You can store unshelled almonds in a cool dry place for several months.  Shelled almonds should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator so the oil doesn’t go rancid. You can freeze unshelled almonds if you wish to keep them longer.

So now that you know a little more about almonds, why not try this cinnamon glazed almond recipe for a special holiday treat?

1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups whole almonds (from the baking section)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in almonds and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until no liquid remains. Pour almonds onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer, separating as much as possible. Bake 10 minutes; cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to use.