From simple snacking, to providing a nutritious dairy alternative for those of us with some aversion to milk, to enhancing our recipes as well as our beauty regimens, almonds have been there for us. In just one ounce, almonds pack 6g of protein, 4g of fiber, 13g of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and 75mg of calcium. Without our ever even having to ask, almonds give us a dose of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and riboflavin in every crunchy bite. Looking beyond the nut in its purest form, almond butter has added rich creaminess to innumerable soup bases and satay sauces, and who knows how many have rediscovered the joy of baking with naturally gluten-free almond flour? And so, with National Almond Day coming up on February 16, it is only right and just that we say we say thanks.

As we're but a few short days from the big huzzah, it's just about time to decide what almond-chocked recipe(s) to make in celebration. With that, I give you my top five almond-inspired favorites:

For more recipes, facts, and general information on almonds, head on over to the Almond Board of California.