SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Blue Diamond® Growers, the world’s largest almond processing and marketing company, announced a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) to serve as the official snack nut of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. Blue Diamond Snack Almonds, which are a heart-healthy super food, will be integrated into the USSA’s dietary plans and serve as the baseline for nutritional meals prepared for athletes as part of their elite training regime leading up to and during the 2014 Winter Games.
“Nutrition is a key component of our athletes’ high performance training program. Our snowboarders and skiers must sustain their energy for long, exhilarating workouts and competition,” said Allen Tran, MS, RD, USSA High Performance Chef. “Blue Diamond Snack Almonds are ideal snacks for our athletes because they are high in protein and rich in fiber which helps them maintain their energy levels.”
As a healthy snack, Blue Diamond Snack Almonds are being offered at the USSA Center of Excellence training facility and kitchen in Park City, UT, where hundreds of U.S. winter athletes are preparing for the upcoming Games. In Sochi, Russia, the USSA team, which is the largest contingent of athletes at the Winter Games, will be able to snack on a rainbow of Blue Diamond Snack Almond flavors that include the traditional favorites of Whole Natural and Smokehouse, as well as exciting bold flavors of Habanero BBQ, Lime ‘n Chile and Salt ‘n Vinegar.
At home and on the road, USSA Chef Allen Tran is incorporating Blue Diamond Almonds into his high-performance meal plans for the winter athletes and has created many nutritious recipes such as a Blue Diamond Almond & Kale Pesto, made with Blue Diamond Roasted Almonds, baby kale leaves, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and puree until the mixture is smooth.
“The USSA’s athletes are driven to be the very best skiers and snowboarders in the world,” said John O’Shaughnessy, General Manager of Consumer Foods Division, Blue Diamond Growers. “We are proud to support these U.S. athletes with foods that help them to maintain a performance-enhancing diet as they prepare for global competition.”
About the USSA
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It is the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. Developed to facilitate participation in national and international competition, the Olympic sports organization provides structure for competitive skiing and snowboarding. From grassroots programs to governance of sport, management of rules, competitions and athletic rankings, the USSA oversees athletic pipelines for development in the sports. With a vision to make the USA the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding, the USSA provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders who share an Olympic dream while maintaining a strong adherence to core values. The USSA, established in 1905, operates out of the national training and education facility, the Center of Excellence, in Park City, UT.
About Blue Diamond
California-based Blue Diamond® Growers is the world's largest almond processing and marketing company. Founded in 1910, the 103 year-old cooperative is owned by half of the state's almond growers who produce over 80 percent of the world almond supply. Blue Diamond® led the development of California's almond industry from a minor domestic specialty crop to the world leader. With 2012 sales exceeding $1 billion, Blue Diamond® recently doubled its capacity, opening the first phase of a new California plant designed to address growing global demand. The California almond crop is marketed to all 50 states and more than 90 foreign countries, making almonds California's largest food export and the number one specialty crop in America.