Top 10 Best Almond Paste Reviews
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Top Pick Almond Paste
Almond Paste – An Under-Rated Baking Ingredient Though
Many of us have heard about almonds and have used them as well. But, only a few know about almond paste. What is it and how it is used in cooking? Let us find out some useful information about this under-rated baking ingredient here:
What is Almond Paste?
Almond paste, as the name implies, is a paste-form of almonds. This paste is used as an ingredient in tarts, cakes, cookies and even in other desserts. It encompasses a combination of thickening or binding agents like glucose or corn syrup, sugar and, of course, almonds. The good thing about this ingredient is that it is naturally gluten-free. It will have a texture that is soft similar to a spread. Most people confuse this paste with that of marzipan. But, the almond paste will have to slightly coarse texture comparatively. When you visit grocery stores, you can find this paste in the baking section as it is widely used as an ingredient in baked foods.
What Does Almond Paste Taste Like?
When talking about the taste of almond paste, it will have a semi-bitter taste and a distinct almond flavor. You might think that it will be sweeter as sugar is used as an ingredient along with almonds to make this paste. But, it will just have a mild sweetness as it is used as an additional ingredient in many recipes. It will have a coarser texture and semi-bitter taste as compared to similar pastes used in baking for thickening purpose.
When you get to grocery stores to buy almond paste, you will find that most stores have only a single variant that contains 45% blanched almonds. However, in pastry shops and restaurants, you will find different kinds of this paste with different sugar levels. The sweeter you need the paste to be, the more sugar content you should look for when you buy this paste.
Not just taste but even the color differs in almond paste. You will see a light tan color if the paste has been made from raw blanched almonds. But, if toasted almonds were used, the paste will have darker color along with a deeper flavor. The paste made without removing the skin of almonds will have a dark color and even intense flavor as compared to the paste made after removing the skin.
Is Almond Paste Healthy?
Of course, almond paste is rich in flavor and sweeter in some cases. But, irrespective of the level of sweetness, it is highly nutritious as well. More than 60% of the fat in almonds used for making this paste is monounsaturated. The American Heart Association have stated that monounsaturated fats help with bringing down harmful cholesterol levels. So, almond paste is undoubtedly heart-healthy food.
You will be surprised to know almond paste is protein-rich as well. Yes, 1 oz of almonds contains more protein as compared to a whole egg. When you take the case of an egg, it has 5.5 grams of protein. But, in 1 oz of almonds, the protein present is 7.6 grams. This protein content in almonds helps with muscle growth in your body. Even, in this quantity of almonds, you should know that the calcium content is similar to 1/4 cup of milk. So, almond paste helps your family achieve strong bones as well.
Short List of Health Benefits:
- Do you look for home remedies for sore throat? If you have almond paste in your home, you can mix the paste with some hot milk and consume it.
- Also, milk made from almond paste can provide better nutrition to kids as compared to serving them with cow’s milk alone.
- Almond paste is a health-building food both for body and mind to all your family members.
How to Make Almond Paste Taste Good?
Do you expect a better taste from almond paste? If your answer is affirmative, you can do the following to improve its taste:
- You can use it in confectionery and pastry items. Examples include pie filling, cake and sweet pastries.
- When you make a traditional Swedish dessert, you will have to use this paste as one of the key ingredients.
- You can use it as an ingredient in cake-making and even as a topping when you make cake in your home.
- Further, you can consider using it in vinaigrettes, sauces and soups. The reason is that the paste can add nutrition and even thickness to these dishes.
- You can try flavoring it with rose water, zest or orange rind before adding it to cakes, puddings, sweets and desserts
- When you make fruit cake in your home, you can use paste as icing.
- When you make gravies and curries in your home, you can use the paste as a thickening agent.
Apart from the above-mentioned ways, you can consider using this paste in whichever dishes you try with almonds. If you buy sugared paste, it would be a good idea to make sure that you use less sugar when you prepare sweet recipes using this paste in your home. As the paste can function as a candy dough, you can try out making candies with this paste. For extra flavor, you can use chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or other such essences to make your candies taste better. Almond, as you know, is a nutritious food. So, you can turn innovative and can try out different cookies and many other snacks for your kids. Make sure to choose a variant with lesser sweet content so that you can make sure that you serve your kids with healthy food.
What Features Should You Consider When Buying Almond Paste?
Now, you are thinking about buying almond paste. But, you might be wondering what features to consider in shopping for this healthy and nutritious food. Here are some features that will come in handy in your shopping for the best paste:
Gluten-Free: You know that gluten-free food is healthy. Yes, you can find gluten-free almond paste. When you buy this type of package, you can make sure that even if your family members are not allergic to gluten, they get healthy food.
Go for Blanched Almond Paste: When you get a blanched almond paste, it will be easily digestible as compared to the almond paste made with the skin on. However, both can bring similar health benefits to you and your family.
List of Ingredients: When you intend to choose the best almond paste, it would be a good idea to check whether the pack provides the list of ingredients. Of course, the ingredient list should have almonds, sugar and even some have glucose as an ingredient. If you or one of your family members is diabetic, you can avoid the pack with glucose and sugar content. So, you can opt for a pack without any added sugar. So, it would be better to check whether the pack provides this list of ingredients before you buy.
Non-Diary: If your family follows a vegan diet, you might be interested in avoiding dairy products. So, you should make sure that non-diary almond paste is selected for your family. In fact, you might already be using almond milk as an alternative to regular dairy milk. To make sure that it will continue to happen for your family, check whether the pack reads non-dairy before you buy.
No preservatives: In general, most manufacturers use preservatives in their almond paste to extend its shelf life. So, it is better to check that no preservatives are added to the paste before you buy. Otherwise, the preservative used should be safe to consume.
Nutritional Facts Table: Further, when it comes to shopping for almond paste, it would be better to check whether the pack provides a nutritional facts table. The presence of nutritional information will help you ensure that you choose healthy food for your family to gain better health.
Percentage of almonds: Before you buy almond paste, you should know the percentage of almonds used in the pack along with other ingredients. The presence of this information in the pack will again help you know whether your family will get the health benefits that you expect from almonds.
How Much Does Top-Rated Almond Paste Cost?
When you take the case of high-end almond paste, it will cost you more than $50. On the other hand, if you look for cheap almond paste, you can find affordable almond paste at less than $10. The average cost of almond paste will differ based on different factors starting from the size of the paste package, whether the pack contains blanched or unblanched almond paste.
Apart from being tasty food, almond paste is healthy food for your family. Besides being healthy, it is also a tasty food that can help you gain the satisfaction of serving your family with food that will improve their health in many ways. So, do consider the factors mentioned above and end up with the right almond paste. Let your kids start tasting different confectioneries made using healthy and tasty almond paste.