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Go Nuts for Almonds at the Farmer's Market

Almonds can be a holiday snack or part of a festive meal. Here are some recipes using Almonds — add your own in the comments.

Nuts add a festive feel to any party or meal, and offer a heart-healthy boost in a season of not-so-healthy eating. So here, in honor of the Nutcracker Suite and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, we celebrate the almond.

There are two types of almond trees — bitter and sweet, according to the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA). Bitter almonds are processed into oil and used mostly for cooking and aromatherapy. Sweet almonds are the varieties for consumption. Due to recent federal regulations, unpasteurized, raw almonds are now only available at farmers' markets and farm stands. These almonds, free from processing, may have more health benefits than store varieties, according to LiveStrong.com.

Recipes using Almonds

Apple-Almond Cobbler
Apple-Almond Stuffed Pork tenderloin
Brussels Sprouts with Onion and Almonds
Chicken with Fresh Apricots and Almonds
Couscous Stuffed Artichokes
Grilled Tomato Melts
Hillview Farms Apple-Stuffed Baked Pumpkin
Pan Seared Scallops with Grapes
Persimmon Goat Cheese Wedges
Pluot Cake with Honey Cream
Roasted Almonds
Roasted Beet Salad with Asian Pear
Tangerines and Almonds with Couscous

What's in Season at the farmers' market in December

Fruit: Apples, citrus (oranges, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines), kiwifruit, pomegranates.

Vegetables: Artichokes, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, radishes, spinach, winter squash.

Concord Farmers' Market

Todos Santos Plaza, Willow Pass & Grant Street

Day Time Season Tuesday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Year-round

Farmers' Market Events

Tuesday, Dec. 18: Bring a new unwrapped toy to the farmers' market information booth through December 18 to be given to Toys for Tots to make a child smile for the holidays. We will also accept cash and checks for donations. Check with the market manager for details.

What's your favorite winter meal? Share recipes in the comments below. Looking for gift ideas? Try creating a gift basket from farmer's market goodies.

Rachel December 18, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I didn't know that about raw almonds, thanks for the tip!
Emily Henry December 18, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I just bought some! I didn't know either. They're $6 for a big bag at the market.

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