Almonds can be collected from the branches of trees or bushes. They can be collected manually or with a machine. Thanks to its protective shell, picking the almonds is easy. All you have to do is hit them or shake them from the tree and drop them on the ground or use a commercial machine, where you can place a canvas or sheet to facilitate their collection. To manually pick the almonds, shake the tree to loosen them from the shell. Collect the ones that have fallen and then use a ladder to reach the ones that are still in the tree. Shake the branches again to loosen the almonds and then collect them.
Commercial farmers often have machines built exclusively to shake the almonds down to the ground.. But for the highest harvests, all that is needed is a large stick with which to pound the branches. Obviously, you have to be careful with the nuts that fall on top. This can be a bit dangerous, but is easily solved by wearing a helmet or goggles to protect your eyes (prevention is always better than cure!).
When to harvest the almonds?
The harvest takes place at 2 different times of the year, depending on whether you want them fresh or dry. Therefore, the almonds of the almond tree are harvested at the end of spring, around May-June if you want them fresh (green) and often around September, at the end of summer if you want them ripe.
To harvest the almonds, wait until the shell (the part that surrounds the fruit) is open and dry. Be careful because bitter almond (the fruit of the wild almond tree) contains hydrocyanic acid which is toxic to humans and can even be fatal in certain doses.
How to identify if the almonds of the almond tree are ready to be harvested?
Inside the shell is a wood-like shell, and within that shell is where the true nut, or grain, that is eaten is found. When the shell has been opened, you can see the pulp inside, and it is this crack that indicates that the almond is ripe. Then the almonds can be harvested.
How to dry and remove the shell of almonds?
Immediately after harvest, the shells surrounding the almonds have to be removed. There are two ways to do this: one is manually and the other is with an established process with machines used by commercial farmers. For small quantities, the ideal is to have a container in which to place the almonds, leave them in a place with good ventilation. and protect them from direct sun. Then, you just have to wait for them to dry and then remove the peel.
What the large almond producers do is that after the harvest, they are taken to a facility where the grains go through a roller to remove the shell and any remaining soil, stones, among other things.
How to peel almonds
Storage of almonds
It is best to freeze the beans once they have completely dried to eradicate any vermin that may be present.especially the navel worms of the orange (amyelois transitella). Next, you must decide whether or not to peel them before storing them. Shelled almonds can be stored at room temperature for up to 8 months, or shelled for up to a year in the fridge.
One thing to keep in mind: Nuts will absorb any extremely strong scents around them, so keep them away from onion and garlic. To avoid any mistakes, it is advisable to store them in airtight containers. Nuts that are dark in color, moldy, wrinkled, or smell bitter or sour should be discarded as lipids in the kernels can go bad at any time.
Benefits of almonds
Almonds are a rich source of nutrients, such as vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They have been shown to improve heart health, reduce inflammation and boost brain function.
Additionally, they are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from harmful toxins. These are a type of dried fruit that is usually consumed as an aperitif. They are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and they also have a number of health benefits.
Side effects and contraindications of almonds
The main side effects related to the consumption of almonds are due to their high caloric intake and the possible presence of allergens. Especially in overweight subjects, it is important to consume them in a controlled way (maximum 30 grams per day), in order to optimize the benefits in the body.
Like many nuts, almonds can also trigger allergic reactions in predisposed subjects, so it is important to first inquire about their consumption both naturally and in other products that may contain them (especially sweets). Almonds can, in very rare cases, be contaminated with toxins responsible for your liver disease. In this case, however, Community regulations prohibit the sale of these, so there are no risks in this regard.