Almond trees

Almond trees start to bloom in the end of winter in February. Although it depends on the variety, the temperature and environmental conditions.
It is the first important flowering for the bees from which they collect pollen and carry it from flower to flower as small fairies be jumping around. When the first buds appear, in winter one can already smell spring in the air. It is a charming time in Cyprus. Already tired from cold and winter people are glad to welcome these first signs of a coming spring. Days are becoming longer, sun shines higher bringing warmth and a new fresh cycle of life begins.
Almond trees grow wildly across the island. You can also see them cultivated in many gardens. After a few months instead of beautiful flowers first fruits will appear. They are soft and can be eaten whole. They are very tasty when pickled or marinated. Best time for harvesting almonds is July/August when the green shell opens to reveal the hard nut with an almond seed inside. They are very tasty when picked from the tree and especially loved by children. The taste of almonds ranges from sweet to bitter. Sweet almonds are edible, while bitter ones are not, they are used for making oil, a common oil that is used to add flavour to the food.
Almonds have many benefits for our health. Many of the nutrients in almonds help contribute to increased heart health. Almonds are a good source of nutrients that are important for brain health, including vitamin E, folate. Almonds are available in a variety of preparations and it can be tough to know which is healthiest. Raw, unsalted almonds are a safe bet, but some people prefer the roasted taste. Both raw and roasted almonds pack a high dose of nutrients and minerals. Raw almonds have more naturally occurring beneficial fats, as some are lost in the roasting process. Soak almonds in water overnight and add them to your smoothies, snack or add chopped almonds to your salad and enjoy this tasty gift from nature.