Almonds are hard nuts. Even while chewing they seem to never soften up. Do a parboil, a soak, then a peel for extra eye-appeal and they might just change your mind!
Makes 4 cups almonds after soaking
3 c. whole raw, unsalted almonds
6 c. water
In large saucepan bring almonds and water to boil. Turn heat off, cover and let set till ready to use – at least till the water cools down enough to put your hands in it to retrieve the nuts for skinning. If you don’t have time today, then keep the nuts in the liquid, cover and refrigerate 1-3 days or more even. Don’t wait too long though – everything has a shelf life.
When you’re ready, drain the liquid into a bowl and measure it for another use. I strained 5 cups liquid. Just be sure you know how much it is, because we’ll be making Skinny Dirty Rice with it.
Now lets skin the almonds. Between your thumb and index finger holding the wider end of the nut flat, push finger and thumb together to pop out the nuts from the skins. Give yourself some cover so they don’t pop out across the room.
Draining and air-drying the almonds a little before you pop them prevents that from happening. But if in a hurry, and they’re still slippery from the water, guard the wayward almonds with your other hand. I’ve done it both ways. If you don’t have to be so careful about not popping them across the room, it doesn’t take as long. It takes a while to do 3 cups of cooked, soaked almonds, so sit down and relax, watch some television, listen to music or enjoy the silence.
Notes: If you want a softer nut, then bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes – like you cook rice.
Save the almond skins. Rinse under tap water, drain in colander to evaporate excess liquid from the skins, then pack in covered container and refrigerate till ready to use. I make Skinny Dirty Rice for me and Lilly and we both love it. So earthy, clean and simple. It textures good too.