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Almonds – A Stone Fruit

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There are as many as 750 varieties of almonds that are recognized. Did you know that they are classified as a stone fruit? Almonds are broken down into two main categories: those who produce sweet almonds and the bearers of bitter almonds. The flavor of bitter almonds is due to a substance called amygdalin. When we chew a bitter almond, the amygdalin comes into contact with our saliva and is turned into glucose, hydrocyanic acid, and benzaldehyde; the last two of these are poisonous. So, no eating bitter almonds… you hear me?

The almond tree is cultivated mostly in the United States (Central California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia) as well as in countries like Spain, Italy, Iran, Syria, Morocco, and Australia. During the last two decades, California Almond production has tripled, making California account for over 80% of world supply.

Planting an Almond Tree


A Bud Forms then Blooms

Time for Pollination

Maturing and Hull-Split


Harvesting and Processing

almonds in a black bowl

Can You Get Raw Almonds?

There is a lot of confusion circling whether or not almonds can be sold raw or not.

Effective September 2007, the USDA ordered all almond growers to “sterilize” almonds in one of several ways: heat them using steam, irradiate them using a controversial ionization process, roast or blanch them, or treat them with propylene oxide (PPO). The new rule created deceptive labeling. Almonds that have undergone chemical treatments or heating for pasteurization are still labeled “raw.” Consumers who purchase “raw” almonds may well think that those almonds are natural and unprocessed. Moreover, there will be no label requirement to specify what kind of pasteurization treatment was used among the many approved methods or combination of options.”

Many health food stores do sell almonds that are truly raw, but they come with a higher price tag since they are typically imported from Spain and Italy. So if obtaining truly raw almonds is your goal, you need to do research and look into the supplies source, because even pasteurized almonds (steamed, irradiated, or treated with chemicals) could be labeled as “raw.”

Online Sources for truly raw almonds; Bremner Farms and Blue Mountain Organics.

How the Whole Almond is Used

Every part of the harvest from the almonds to shells to hulls are utilized.

Almond Flowers

Almond Wood

Almonds Nuts

Almond Hash

Almond Shells

Almond Hulls


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6 thoughts on “Almonds – A Stone Fruit

  1. GG says:

    Hi Amie Sue,

    What is mostly desirable to purchase:
    1. Almonds, Nonpareil, Sprouted, Organic?
    2. Apricot, Kernel, Sprouted, Organic?
    or the same but not sprouted?

    When purchasing sprouted, do we still have to soak and dry them before using/refrigerating/freezing/eating or not, as they are already soaked and sprouted?
    I make my own almond milk with the “Almond Cow” just invented last year, and I love it, but need to use them also as snack.
    Grateful for your inspiration, ALWAYS, and hugs from my heart. :>))
    Mikaela (GG)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning GG,

      You can purchase sprouted or not sprouted nuts and seeds. With the already sprouted, one step of the process has already been done for you (soaking/ sprouting dehydrated) but it comes with a higher price. So it’s strictly up to you… can you readily find them and are they affordable for you? Regardless if you buy them this way or you do the process yourself, I would still recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer so they don’t go rancid. I hope this helped. blessings, amie sue :)

  2. GG says:

    Thank you so much for your prompt response. I just ordered them from your site. Blessings,

  3. Cogoudo says:

    Amie Sue,
    Great article on Almonds: May 4, 2021 – “Almonds – A Stone Fruit!”
    Thank You!
    Just to add to Your list of Truly Raw almond distributors …. we get our raw almonds from Jaffe Bros Natural Foods.
    Their raw almonds are Spanish and/or Italian and wonderfully enough, many times the variety is the Spanish Marcona Almond. They are grand for raw recipes! Their email address is: organicfruitsandnuts.com.
    Thank You again for always being an inspirational and informative raw resource!
    Their products are all consistently VERY fresh.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Cogoudo for another option for others to look into. :) I love learning where our food comes from and how it ends up in our house. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

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