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Marcona Almonds

gluten free marcona almonds

Many of you had questions about Marcona almonds when I posted my recipe for Marcona Almond Mayonnaise, so I thought I would take the time to provide some answers.  Here’s the first question from one of my favorite readers:

Is there a difference in taste or texture between Marcona almonds & regular almonds?  I know the Marcona almonds are from Spain so maybe (and hopefully) these are truly raw almonds (they’re not so obsessed with pasteurization in Europe).

To answer this question I found a quote from Wikipedia, “The Marcona variety of almond, which is shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate in texture than other varieties, originated in Spain and is becoming popular in North America and other parts of the world.  Marcona almonds are traditionally served after being lightly fried in oil, and are also used by Spanish chefs to prepare a dessert called turrón.”

Indeed, the Marcona almonds that I purchase from Whole Foods are not raw, and also have a light coat of oil and salt added.  I haven’t ever come across a raw Marcona almond, though from the wiki quote above, it does look like they exist.

Do you soak the almonds (6-8 hours) before adding them to the recipe?

Thanks for your question, Kara, I don’t soak previously roasted nuts; when soaking is necessary in my recipes, I do provide this specification, you can see my Almond Milk recipe for an example of this.

Can this be made with regular almonds?

I do not think this would work, though haven’t tried it myself.  The Marcona almond is blanched (sans skin) which helps to make my Mayo creamy.  You could always give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

If anyone has more experience and light to shed on the subject of Marcona almonds, we would all love to hear from you with a comment on this post or as a topic in the forums.  As always, the forums are generally the best place to post questions.

By the way, these healthy nuts are one my favorite gluten free snacks.

I am somewhat surprised that my gluten free cookbook is still getting a nice amount of publicity.  This week it was featured in a piece that ran in The Sacramento Bee entitled “Should you get rid of the gluten?” and they included a couple of my recipes from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook –Eggplant Parmesan and Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Energy Times Magazine also featured a recipe from my cookbook in an article called Against the Grain. Head on over for my Pear Crisp recipe.

The winner of the super duper big holiday Friday Freebie giveaway which includes a copy of The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and a 5lb bag of blanched almond flour from Honeyville is Liz!  Thanks to everyone who entered and we will do it again in a month or so.

This weeks Friday Freebie is a box of Cashew Cookie Lara Bars from iherb.comLeave a comment on this post to be included in the drawing for this giveaway.

UPDATE: this giveaway has ended, the winner was Diane

posted on January 15, 2010, 88 comments

  1. Danielle

    Please enter me in the giveaway!

  2. Love your recipes – you are my new inspiration! Please do enter me.

  3. GK

    You inspired me to buy some Marcona almonds the other day. Yum!

  4. RH

    Cashew Cookie is my favorite flavor!

  5. Betsy

    You can purchase raw Marcona almonds at nutsonline.com. They are delicious raw.

  6. Going to check out iherb and nutsonline now.

  7. Rachel

    Thanks for linking the sacbee article. I too had bad digestion for years and never attributed it to gluten. It’s amazing now that my body has started to heal how quickly it reacts to accidental gluten (happened twice).

    I don’t have a problem with nuts and love to use cashews in creamy Indian cooking.

  8. Thank you for the specifications Elana!
    I didn’t know I was one of your favs ;).

    For those of you looking for TRULY RAW almonds (since raw almonds grown in the US are by law pasteurized and therefore not raw anymore), I found a little gem at http://www.bluemountainorganics.com/ : Italian almonds (raw, organic and as the name says, imported from Italy).

    They’re not so great for fresh eating (unless you soak them and dehydrate them afterwards…which is what I should be doing anyway). But they make the BEST almond milk! I plan on grinding them into meal/flour as well. Maybe one day I’ll be adventurous enough to make my own almond butter (which I really should) but in the mean time the same company (Blue Mountain Organics) offers a raw Italian almond butter, freshly made upon request and just prior to shipping (I have tried other raw nut/seed butters from them and they are really fresh).

  9. Thanks for the answers. The marcona almonds really sound delicious.

  10. gilliebean @ clubfritch.com

    Thanks for clearing that up! I was wondering about the marcona almonds but had not yet done the research myself. I love the internet!

  11. Jody

    The Marcona almonds were wonderful..I didn’t make the mayo..just ate them all..:)

  12. Wendy Baker

    I have just found your website and I am thrilled! My kids totally loved your almond butter blondies and are begging for me – even my very skeptical teenager! Thanks for all of the wonderful information and recipes.

  13. Diane J.

    Elana, Please enter me in the Friday Freebie, I love Larabars, the cashew ones are my absolute favorite. Thanks

  14. ~M

    My husband loves those cashew cookie larabars!

  15. Kirsten

    Thanks for entering me into the giveaway!

  16. Lori C

    I’ll have to look for Marcona almonds – they sound good. Thanks for all the new ideas!

  17. Lorielie Kozberg

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I use Organic Truly Raw Sonora Almonds and Organic Truly Raw Non-Pareil Almonds in my home. Both have a wonderful flavor, I am hoping to try your recipe with one of them, possibly both and will let you know how it turns out. Thanks so much for keeping these coming. Best, Lorielie :-)

  18. Rhonda Ahrens

    I love marcona almonds and love mayo so this sounds absolutely delightful! Your book is a staple in our cooking routine even though no one in the house has a gluten intolerance. Thanks a ton!

  19. I just bought some marcona almonds today at Trader Joe’s. I can’t wait to try the mayo recipe!

    Great giveaway too!

  20. Kristin @ freeforged.com

    I love love love Marcona almonds. Crush them up and add them to fried chicken breading, or pour caramel over them. Delicious.
    I saw this on Foodgawker, and thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Linda

    I love Lara Bars…thanks for the opportunity to win the giveaway!

  22. Caroline @ aetataureate.com

    Oh man, the cashew cookie flavor is the best one, too. Dreamy!

  23. Stefanie

    On the almond front — I just had a small dish of Marconas as an accompaniment to an artisanal cheese appetizer at a wonderful restaurant (Miel – in Nashville) Tuesday night. They presented as raw, without any salt — delicious!
    I’m a huge fan of your website, love your cookbook, and am frequently inspired by your posts – new and old — to continue creating in the kitchen. We are a gluten-free household due to Celiac, and have the double-whammy of Type 1 diabetes to contend with. Thanks for the inspiration. Send the Larabars our way — I order them by the case from Amazon — GF and low-glycemic — a win/win!

  24. A chef in a cooking class I’ve been attending raved about Marcona almonds and said everyone must try them sometime in their lives–they must be really good!

  25. Anna Aspnes @ annaaspnes.typepad.com

    I just ordered some on your recommendation and they arrived today. Literally just had my first nibble….And…YUM! Looking forward to trying the Mayonnaise recipe this coming week.

  26. Gina Koney

    Thanks again for all the yummy ideas. I did make your almond milk a few times (some are soaking as we speek) I was surprised on how easy it was to make and i LIKE the taste too. I finaly feel like I can have milk and cookies again. Thanks. Please enter me into the drawing :) Thanks again

  27. Danielle

    We serve Marcona almonds at my work (a Spanish tapas restaurant) and they are the number one thing I drool over as I see them going to guests’ tables. So simple, yet so delicious!

  28. Aurora

    I absolutely LOVE these almonds! Luxury food! :-)

  29. Diane

    Yum! I’ve stared at these almonds at Whole Foods. Now I know what I’m going to do with them!

  30. My husband loves the cashew cookie lara bars. I do too, but it’s too much sugar for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Marge Ellis

    I’m just getting started on this gluten-free road. Thanks for the recipes!

  32. Thank you so much for your wonderful information and recipes! You are a blessing to so many who struggle with letting go of gluten. I always send people to your blog wether they need to eat gluten free or not. Thank you too for your giveaways!
    God Bless!

  33. Kandy

    Marcona Almonds are addicting! They have a totally different texture, not as dry as our “normal” almonds. I am looking forward to making the mayonnaise but it seems that my Marcona almonds are disappearing before the recipe is made!!!! Awesome website and recipes Elana, thank you!

  34. Lauren @ celiacteen.com

    Great tips! Macaronas are new to me, but they found fantastic!

  35. Mrs. P

    Please enter me too ! Thank you. I live in Sacramento and enjoyed the article in the Bee – you deserve all the praise the world can muster. My mother is now interested in your recipes as she was told to remove sugar from her diet due to pre-diabetes. Bless you !

  36. Kelly

    Cashew Cookie Lara Bars! Yum!

  37. Tawnya

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes! You’ve made living gluten-free and in our case casein free so much happier!!

  38. donna nielsen

    i would LOVE to be included in a chance for the giveaway… and elana i LOVE your book…use it every week!

  39. Karen Carter

    I would love to be included in a chance for the giveaway also. I am so glad I was introduced to your website. I truly enjoy all your recipes I have tried. Thank you so much for posting such wonderful recipes, ideas, etc.

    Karen C.

  40. Lydia

    I’ll comment this on your mayo recipe as well, but I did blanch my own almonds for your recipe and it turned out great! So delicious!

  41. Erica

    Larabars are great! Mmm! Thanks for posting this.

  42. Jeannette

    My world will not be complete now until I try a Marcona Almond.

  43. NIckie

    Cashew Cookie is my favorite! mmmm tasty.
    Please do enter me.

    Thanks Again Elana!

  44. Cashew cookie is one of my 3 favorite Larabar flavors! I would love to win :)
    I also wanted to mention that I made a version of your Lemon Lavender cookies the other day. I didn’t have the lavender so I used ginger. They were fabulous! I will post it on my blog soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. I had no idea Marcona almond were actually a different type. At any rate, they worked incredibly well in the almond mayo. I’ve been making my own larabar type bars… and they’re quite good! Keep up the good work Elana!

  46. Tiffany

    I’ve seen those marcona almonds at Whole Foods and have always wanted to try them. Now I have an excuse!

  47. crystal

    iherb (the site of your giveaway this week) is a great website for GF goodies. have you also tried vitacost? they have tons of GF items there that are very cheap!

  48. Please enter me in the drawing. I have your Cookbook and love it. My family has enjoyed everything that I’ve made so far. Chocolate chip scones and the pancakes are the favorites. Pecan cookies are delicious too!

  49. Sara

    I soak my almonds overnight, blanch and remove skins, blend with water, garlic, dates, vinegar, tamari, oil. This is a great mayo also. I am a Bauman grad and this is in our Chef Cookbook. Hope that helps some of you!

  50. Karina

    I love all of your recipes. I have especially enjoyed your cookbook. all of your recipes are so versatile and delicious. larabars are one of my favorite “candies”, since giving up sugar.

  51. Just wanted to let you know I made your pizza for dinner last night and my family loved it. It’s the first no-yeast pizza crust I’ve been able to pick up and eat with my fingers!

  52. Kathryn

    I love your site and read it faithfully. I wish I had more time to spend in my kitchen trying more of your recipes. As a first grade teacher I have little free time. Twenty-two brights minds take nourishing of knowledge that takes my time to prepare. I’ll keep reading so keep posting!

  53. Jenny

    Marcona almonds from Whole Foods… insanely good! I can’t wait to try that mayo recipe — any vegan mayo with such clean ingredients is great with me!

  54. Renate

    Happy new year and please enter me in the draw. Thx!

  55. Diane C


    I made the Macona Mayo recipe and substituted blanched almond flour for the Marcona almonds. It resulted in a creamy mayo that tasted delightful.Since I’ve not made the original recipe, I’m not able to compare them.

  56. Cheryl @ gfgoodness.com

    sounds yummy. I love cashews!

  57. Rebecca

    Thanks for the info on the Marconas. I’ve never heard of them before.

  58. Cassi @ cassifriz.com

    mmmm- marcona almonds. so addictive. i would never have thought to stop eating them for long enough to make something else out of them. since leaving santa fe, i haven’t located any good sources- there i worked in restaurants where they were appetizers.

    thanks again for the amazing recipes.

  59. kelli

    thanks for the info. on the nuts.

    I love your book i just made the biscuits for my dads birthday by his request! Me and my 3 little ones are g-free and dairy free along with my husband (by default) but after my dad tasted those biscuits he had to have them again!

  60. I’ve tried salted rosemary marcona almonds from Trader Joe’s. They’re outstanding!

  61. Julia

    Thanks for all of your recipes!

  62. irene

    cashew cookies! yum! please enter me :)

  63. Nitasia Timms

    Cashew Cookies – sounds divine!
    Thanks for all your helpful comments about the Marcona almond. I’ll look for them at Whole Foods.

  64. Sarah

    I got your cookbook for Christmas and have been happily cooking since then! The cookies taste like cookies, the bread tastes like bread, and the chicken fingers taste like chicken fingers! How amazing is that! Every recipe has turned out well and I’ve been surprised at how easy they are to make compared with usual gluten recipes. I made the Muesli bread yesterday and substituted papitas for the nuts in the recipe. It made two smaller loaves and tastes great. Thanks! :)

  65. Leeanne

    I respond to the Qs about Marcona almonds after your almond mayo recipe – Although I do not know what almonds taste like around the world, I am pretty sure they must taste almost identical; maybe some are slightly sweeter or blander than others. I live in Spain & have my own almond orchard, so have access to real RAW almonds, which are great for almond milk, and all the delicious recipes from the ‘leftover’ pulp. I have no idea if my almonds are the traditional Spanish Marcona or other variety but I also toast & fry them, with & without their skins, and I don’t think they taste any different to almonds I have tasted previously processed in UK etc.
    I always try a few nuts from each tree when harvesting, and they can taste very different – even on the same tree, though I would normally get the same taste from each idividual tree’s nuts ! Some tree’s nuts are sweeter, some have a really ‘marzipan’ flavour, and some are definitely more tasty than others, but I think once processed you would not notice such differences.
    I hope this is of interest to anyone.
    Please keep up the good work & keep the almond recipes coming – in all shapes & forms!!!

  66. rasphoto.contact

    Talking about almonds… how could you NOT resist that cake scene in the movie Julie and Julia?! I would LOVE to convert this to one that is healthy for my birthday next month – without all the gluten and sugar… how to?? We all want to know!!

  67. Jenny

    Lara bars are my son’s new favorite quick snack!!

  68. Lynae

    Elena, I love your blog! I have just started my Gluten-free diet and am still trying to get used to everything. Your blog has been so helpful to me, and I’m really glad I found it!

    Please enter me in the drawing! I love free stuff =)

  69. Arthi


    I tried the almond butter blondies. It was so simple to make and tasted so good. This is one of the very few times that even my daughter who has no dietary restriction loved a GF food. Thank You.
    I plan to try the coconut flour vanilla cupcakes next.

    Please enter me for the drawing.The bars look good.It would be great to see if this is something my picky GFCF son will eat.

  70. kimarama

    Yes, please! The Marcona almonds sound delicious. I’m making a recipe for “Ajo Blanco” (cold almond and garlic soup), the original Gazpacho, and will be buying some Marconas for this at Whole Foods since I can’t find ‘em in regular grocery. After reading this, I’ll probably stock up on extra just for snacking!

  71. rebecca

    please enter me in the drawing for lara bars. thanks :)

  72. amy hamby

    Hi Elana,
    Do you have a cheat sheet on converting sugar in normal recipes to the amount of agave nectar it requires?
    thanks for your help. I love all your recipes. I just ordered the almond flour to try some of your desserts.

  73. imaginaryline

    I was just looking at marcona almonds at the store and wondering if I should try some. Thanks for the info, and I would love to be entered in the giveaway as well!

  74. Chrissy Ciaccio

    love the chocolate chips cookies… eggless to boot!

  75. teresa l. garza

    i tried the greena colada recipe and i loved it. i really like your website its full of good information. today i’m trying to find a place where i can find marcona at a good price so i can try almond flour recipes. can you advice on where to get them. thank you!

  76. janet tipple

    I just wanted to comment on so-called Marcona almonds: I have seen them at Whole Foods and thought they were blanched, roasted almonds with olive oil and salt like the ones I make at home. I have a recipe from a Spanish cookbook I’ve had for 41 years that calls for blanching and peeling of raw almonds, then roasting them in the oven until lightly browned, tossing them in fine olive oil, then sprinkling them with salt. They are absolutely delicious and irresistible. I use raw almonds from the health food store, not already blanched and peeled. I don’t suppose they are the Marcona variety, but they are very good.

  77. Bethany

    But you can blanch regular almonds yourself :) I just did that after soaking, they’re in the dehydrator now.

  78. Ange Richards

    I have been reading, learning and eating gluten free for a while now. I’m excited to find this website. Thank you!

  79. Jenna

    Your recipes are well-used at my house! I love taking your suggestions and altering recipes to fit my diet and style.

  80. Diane Larkin

    I live in northern Canada and it is sometimes challenging to find all the ingredients for recipes. However, I have been able to find almond flour and have made the cranberry orange scones. Today I am going to try the fig rosemary crackers. Thanks for proving that we can improve our diets without sacrificing taste!

  81. Jenny

    Excited to find all these recipes and insights as I endeavor to leave behind wheat and all it’s negative side effects. Thank you!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top