Nuts are a holiday favorite, and there are a lot of ways to get your hands on them. You can buy premade nut mixes, roast them, or make your own spiced nuts.
It’s time to make room in your cabinet for cashews. Almonds may be the go-to nut, but when it comes to versatility in the kitchen, cashews win hands down. With one bite of the swoonworthy blueberry swirl creamsicles, you’ll get a taste of the creaminess.
Want homemade yogurt without the wait? Cashews to the rescue. Blended together with coconut meat and probiotics, then lightly sweetened with agave, they make a creamy, full-bodied dairy-free yogurt like you’ve never tasted. Or, stick to something savory and use chopped cashews and mushrooms in place of ground beef for tacos. Together, they make a healthy ingredient swap that mimics the real deal. Read more
Add nuts to your list of superfoods: They’re brimming with protein, anti-inflammatory vitamin E and plenty of minerals. However, as with most other foods, portions do matter. Too many handfuls of any nut can quickly rack up hundreds of extra calories. Here’s a great way to remember the recommended portion size for your favorite nuts. Read more
Nuts to You
Do you nix nuts from your diet because you think they’re fattening and hard to digest? Recent studies would indicate that precisely the contrary is true, Jane E. Brody writes in The New York Times, calling nuts and peanuts “some of nature’s most perfect and healthful foods.” Not only have multiple studies indicated that nuts reduce our risk of death at any age from any cause, but several studies also show that nuts can help people lose weight and maintain the loss — perhaps because nuts are so satisfying or because of the way the body breaks them down. Plus, because nuts are high in dietary fiber, they may actually aid digestion and prevent constipation. Nuts are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals, making them, Brody says, “a nutritional powerhouse.” Read more
Pass the Cocktail Nuts
A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine (and reported by the New York Times) looked at data from over 119,000 women and men in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Researchers found that study participants who ate nuts seven or more times a week had a 20% lower death rate than those who didn’t eat nuts over the same period of time. Even for those who only ate nuts less than once a week, the death rate was 11% lower. Participants ate a variety of nuts including pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts, walnuts and macadamias.
It’s no secret that nuts and seeds are good for us. Packed with anti-inflammatory fats, protein and nutrients galore, nuts and seeds make a great addition to a healthy daily diet. The problem is, snacking on a handful of nuts everyday or adding a tablespoon of flax to your smoothie can get old really fast. Here are a few easy ways to make nuts and seeds a part of your every without the boredom of that bowlful of almonds on your desk.
Replace Eggs: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds or flax seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder) with 3 tablespoons of water. This ratio will replace one egg.
Thicken Soups and Stews: Add a couple tablespoons of ground or whole chia seeds to a hot soup or stew until you reach your desired thickness. Wait 10-15 minutes for chia to thicken to full capacity.
When you’re allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, even a small amount can cause a severe allergic reaction. Peanuts aren’t true nuts (they’re a legume, just like beans and lentils), but their protein structure is similar to tree nuts and they’re one of the most common food allergens. And because the protein structure is similar, folks allergic to peanuts are often allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, filberts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews and Brazil nuts.
Allergic reactions occur when the nut protein alerts the body’s immune system to protect itself; it does so by releasing chemicals like histamine. These chemicals cause symptoms that vary from person to person, but typically include wheezing and coughing, problems breathing, anaphylaxis, throat tightness, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy, watery and/or swollen eyes, hives and a drop in blood pressure. One person can actually react to the same food differently at different times.
Dating back to the 16th century, pecans are the only tree nut native to North America. The name “pecan” comes from the Native American term used to explain “nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
Wide-scale propagation of this nut began in the late 1880s and today 80 percent of the world’s crop is grown in southern states like Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. The National Pecan Shellers Association list of fun facts includes that it would take 144 million pecans to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
These nuts are thought to have originated in northeast Brazil. The kidney-shaped, gray-brown colored cashew nut grows from the bottom of a fleshy stalk that resembles the shape of a pear (though is referred to as the cashew apple). The cashew apple has a bright yellow or red skin and is between 5 to 10 centimeters long. The cashew shell is toxic, that’s why you can only purchase them shelled. Cashews have a distinct sweet, buttery flavor.
Today cashews are primarily produced in India, Brazil, Vietnam and Mozambique. Juice, syrup, preserves, wine and liquor are produced from the cashew apple, though the nut is the main form sold commercially in the U.S.
Nowadays, making classrooms or school lunch tables “nut free” is necessary to keep kiddies with allergies safe. Whether you have a little one with an allergy or kiddos that attend an allergy-sensitive school, here are some delicious replacements for typically nut-inspired foods.
1.) Cream Cheese and Jelly
This classic sandwich is an oldie but goodie. Make it extra special with homemade jam.
2.) Soy Nut Butter
A tasty alternative for dipping apple slices, carrot sticks or with jelly on whole-grain bread.