Celebrate a Nutty Holiday!

— Written By

When it’s cold outside and the days are dark and dreary, there’s nothing like a surprise holiday to brighten things up! Here are a few hints of what special day February 16, 2021 is:

  • They can be eaten as they are
  • They can be ground into flour
  • They can be made into a healthy milk alternative
  • They are among the world’s most popular tree nuts
  • Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!

If you guessed National Almond Day, you’d be correct!

Almonds are pretty spectacular little nuggets! For one, they’re full of nutrition. A 1-ounce serving of almonds contains:

  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 32% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
  • They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.

This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.

Almonds can lower cholesterol levels. High levels of LDL lipoproteins in your blood — also known as “bad” cholesterol — is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Your diet can have major effects on LDL levels. Some studies have shown almonds to effectively lower LDL.

A 16-week study in 65 people with prediabetes found that a diet providing 20% of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 12.4 mg/dL. Another study found that eating 1.5 ounces (42 grams) of almonds per day lowered LDL cholesterol by 5.3 mg/dL while maintaining “good” HDL cholesterol.

And almonds may be effective for weight loss. Due to their satiating properties, nuts are a great addition to an effective weight loss diet. In one study, a low-calorie diet with 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds increased weight loss by 62% compared to a diet enriched with complex carbohydrates.

Another study in 100 overweight women found that those consuming almonds lost more weight than those on a nut-free diet. They also showed improvements in waist circumference and other health markers. Despite being high in fat, almonds are definitely a weight loss friendly food. So celebrate National Almond Day on February 16 and throughout the year!

Rosemary Chili Almonds

This is an easy way to add extra flavor to your daily snack. Change it up by choosing a different type of nut or herb combination. Tip: Make a large batch with your favorite nuts and herbs for a great grab-and-go snack throughout the week.

Serves 8
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound (approximately 2 cups) almonds
  • 3 (3-inch) sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped (use 1 tablespoon dried if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes (use more or less depending on your desired level of heat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Use a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil and add the almonds. Stir to coat the almonds.
  2. Add the rosemary leaves, crushed chili flakes, and salt. Toss to coat the almonds.
  3. Cook over medium heat stirring almost constantly for 15 minutes. Do not allow the almonds to get too brown.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Vegetables: 0 cups
  • Fruits: 0 cups
  • Calories: 250 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 23 grams
  • Sodium: 230 mg

Written By

Dee Furlough, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDee FurloughArea Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Dee Email Dee N.C. Cooperative Extension, Tyrrell County Center
Posted on Feb 15, 2021
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