Pro football commentators get offensive—and defensive—about their favorite snacks
Golic, co-host of ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” and former NFL defensive lineman, prefers his almonds sweet and flavorful, like these Cinnamon Glazed Almonds.
|| While defensive linemen and offensive tackles typically find themselves on opposite sides of the football, former NFL players and current analysts Mike Golic and Matt Light agree that smart snacking is essential to their game-time gatherings. Although they’ve retired their jerseys, they’re teaming up with California Almonds to encourage fans to retire poor snacking habits. A handful of almonds provides plenty of crunch and punch to stay satisfied and energized. |
“My day starts early and ends late, and snacking on almonds helps keep me going,” says Golic. “The best part is, they’re not only crunchy and satisfying, but I know they’re a more nutritious choice than most snack foods. And when I want a treat, I like them sweetened.”
-The flavor of almonds gets more robust with roasting. Place a single layer of whole, natural almonds on a sheet pan and pop it into a preheated 350 F degree oven for about ten minutes, shaking and stirring the almonds about halfway through. Cool completely before crunching.
| On the flip side, Light, an NFL analyst and former New England Patriots offensive tackle, enjoys his almonds spicy, with jalapeno seasoning.
“I don’t want to miss a moment while watching a big game, so I keep a handful or two of almonds by the TV to eat as a snack,” says Light. “Almonds help keep me satisfied, which means I can focus on the game and not my empty stomach.”
It makes sense that Golic and Light might take opposing sides on their favorite flavors, but creating a tasty almond snack doesn’t have to be a battle—a few tips can make anybody a pro at creating a crunchy game-time treat:
||- Are you a barbecue master but the weather isn’t complying? Take your signature sauce and simmer it with whole natural almonds for ten minutes; transfer almonds to a baking sheet and roast as directed above to seal in the flavors. Or, try our Beer+Bacon ‘All-Mans’ for a sure-fire halftime hit.|
-Any dry seasoning is fit for almonds: simply whisk up a fluffy egg white wash to coat the almonds before tossing with a seasoning mix, including herbs or parmesan as with this recipe (Parmesan Herb Almonds pictured). Then roast as indicated above for a signature homemade snack.
-Mix cereal, sesame sticks and almonds with seasonings and bake for a savory party mix like this Toasty Nutty Snack Mix.
For more super-simple snack mix recipes, click here.
Note: While the Nutrition Facts Panel states almonds have 160 calories per ounce, the results of a recent study using a new method to calculate calories shows that whole almonds may have 129 calories per ounce. The study, which takes into account the digestibility of whole almonds, was conducted by scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and released in the August 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN).[i] Further research is needed to better understand the results of the study and how this technique for calculating calories could potentially affect the calorie count of other foods.
The research doesn’t stop there—studies have shown that almonds may contribute to better heart health. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” What’s more, California Almonds are always cholesterol-free and contain only one gram of saturated fat and 13 grams of unsaturated fat per ounce.
So there you go: the nutritional profile, crunch and versatility of almonds make them the perfect snack for football fans and professionals alike.
| Mike Golic’s Favorite Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
Created by Almond Board of California
1/3 cup butter
2 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3 cups whole natural California almonds
4 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place butter on 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 -inch jellyroll pan; place in oven to melt butter (about 7 minutes). Meanwhile, beat egg whites with salt until frothy; gradually add sugar, beating into stiff peaks. Gently fold in almonds and cinnamon. Pour almond mixture onto jellyroll pan; toss with butter. Bake about 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until almonds are crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store cooled almonds in airtight container up to 2 weeks.
|Matt Light’s Favorite Jalapeno Almonds
Created by Almond Board of California
1/4 cup salted butter or margarine
1/3 cup Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
1 Tbs. Tabasco pepper sauce
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
4 cups whole natural California almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter; stir in pepper sauces, Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt and mustard. In a large roasting pan, toss mixture with almonds to mix well. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Cool. Store in an airtight container.
[i] Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012 ajcn.035782; First published online July 3, 2012.doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.035782