Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds

My mother in law is an excellent judge of character.  She chose my father in law – a warm, caring man who is so great with his grandchildren; she chose me to marry her son – and we all know he got the better end of that bargain (just kidding!!); and she has befriended an almond grower who sends her a beautiful selection of Blue Diamond almonds for Christmas.  This year, his very generous gift arrived during one of our December visits, and she turned over to us a container of these Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds.  Oh my goodness.  I am so in love.

I have not been able to find them in the store since I had them in mid-December, but thanks to my mother in law again, I found them this week.  Our local Walgreens is now carrying them, and then when I went to the Acme today, they had them there as well.  I picked up two flavors today – the ones I had at my mother in law’s house, which were brown sugar cinnamon; and one I had never tried – vanilla bean. 

Each of the plastic containers holds 8 ounces of almonds, and you can tell how much you are eating because they have labeled the side of the container so you can see how much an ounce is.  Thank you.  Now I know I’ve pigged out seriously today.  Really, though, that’s very handy in helping judge portion size.  They tell you an ounce is about 24 almonds, but to see it is much easier than remembering to stop when you’ve hit 24.  Because you won’t.

The Cinnamon Brown Sugar ones smell delicious.  When you open the jar, you will immediately be reminded of the nuts you find at carnivals and theme parks that they sell warm in little paper cones, coated with sugar and goodness.  There is 160 calories in a one ounce serving, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (okay, a little on the high side, but most nuts are), and, the best part, only 3 grams of sugar!!  But the sugary taste is there, with the cinnamon, and you can microwave them for just a few seconds and feel like you are eating a treat that should be off limits.  Delicious.

Because I had coupons for $1 off, I figured I would try the vanilla bean flavor.  The vanilla smell is not as strong as the cinnamon smell from the other nuts, and the flavor is much more delicate, but it is there and it is good.  The nutrition values are identical on the vanilla, and the kids seemed to like these better as the jar is nearly empty.  These really are a nice way to curb a craving for something sweet and not worry about dumping or breaking your diet.

I’m so grateful to my mother in law for a lot of things.  She has been good to us in so many ways over the years, and we appreciate everything she does for us.  But introducing us to these nuts ranks right up there at the top of the nice things she’s done.  Almost as high on the list as setting me up with my husband.  And on a bad day, the nuts might be a little higher 😉