The almond tree, Prunus dulcis, is native to the Middle East, south Asia and north Africa and is very closely related to the peach. It is a small deciduous tree growing to just 4-10m high. It can begin to produce almonds for harvesting in it’s third year, and the fruits take 7-8 months to mature after flowering.
The almond itself is not strictly speaking a nut – in the botanical sense of the word. Rather, it is a drupe – which means simply that it is a fruit having an outer skin, a softer middle layer, and a hard inner shell that encloses a single seed. It differs to other members of it’s family by having a thick, leathery outer coating (or exocarp), compared to the soft, fleshy and delicious exocarp of the cherry or peach.
Wild almonds still grow in the Middle East. The fruits of the wild form are poisonous because they contain the glycoside amygdalin, which becomes the deadly prussic acid when the seed is damaged in any way. The domesticated almonds that we rely on have had the amygdalin bred out of them.
Almonds have been domesticated since around 3000BC in the near East – they are possibly the first fruit trees to be domesticated. Some were even found in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt!
There are two types of almonds – sweet and bitter. The sweet almonds are used for food, and the bitter for making almond oil, mostly for skin care products. The domestic sweet ones most likely originated from a random mutation of the wild (and toxic) variety, that was then intentionally grown by the early farmers.
Activation involves soaking the raw nuts in filtered water with Himalayan Crystal Salt then dehydrating at low temperatures. The result is an incredibly crispy, rich, tasty nut, with the phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors now neutralised by imitating the process of germination, making the nut more digestible and nutritious.
100% Certified organic nuts.
2Die4 Live Foods began in Byron Bay with one passion in mind – the health benefits and improved taste when soaking, sprouting and fermenting foods. Now they provide ‘activated’ foods that have fewer anti-nutrients, allowing you to absorb more of the goodness and enjoy the taste of organic nuts and seeds.