We’re kicking off the holiday season with 12 Days of Holiday Gifts — gifts that are both homemade and gifts you can buy at the store for your loved ones this season. Day 1: Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Sticks that you can make with your kids.
Almonds originated in central Asia and their cultivation has been traced back to Biblical times. In ancient Egypt, almonds were left in King Tut’s tomb to keep him nourished in the afterlife. These crunchy goodies were brought over to the United States from Spain in 1700. Two hundred years later, the almond industry was booming in California.
Almonds are the seeds of a fruit tree that’s related to the rose family. They’re grown in California, Australia, the Mediterranean and South Africa. There are two main types of almonds: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds have a delicate and slightly sweet flavor and are the variety that most folks eat. Bitter almonds contain a toxic chemical called hydrocyanic acid and can be lethal when eaten raw. The chemical is destroyed once it is heated and the almond is then safe to eat. Bitter almonds aren’t allowed to be sold in the United States, though processed bitter almonds are used in flavor extracts and liqueurs.
I love peanut butter! If you’re a fanatic like me, you’ll love how quick, simple, creative and healthy making your own nut butters can be. Homemade nut butters are preservative-free and packed with heart-healthy fats. They are a versatile ingredient that’s both filling and delicious. Smear these nut butters on a cracker, a slice of apple or crusty whole grain bread or blend it into your favorite recipe.
The sweet and crunchy combo of nuts and dried fruit makes a satisfying snack you can enjoy just about anywhere. But when you buy pre-made kinds, there’s usually something in there you don’t really like. The solution: Make your own signature blend in three simple steps.
Eat your way to a more relaxed state — and no, we don’t mean pigging out on high-calorie junk food. While there isn’t a cure-all food to magically erase frustration, you can get some stress relief with a combo of exercising, eating small meals throughout the day and getting more of these 10 fresh goodies.
Easter is second on the list of top-selling candy holidays (after Halloween, of course). Skip the sugary jellybeans, chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks and make your candy with some healthy ingredients thrown in. Chocolate bark is the easiest sweets recipe ever!
When I get home from work late, I often don’t have the energy to cook up a full meal. For nights like that, this salad is perfect. Gorgonzola is my absolute favorite cheese. Pair it with nuts and I’m in heaven. This salad matches the crumbled cheese with walnuts, which adds more protein and loads of omega-3 fats (walnuts have some of the highest amounts found in nuts). By the way, it’s also National Walnut Month — what better way to celebrate?
For me, snacking is a must! It helps me get from one meal to the next — no headaches, drops in energy or stomach rumbling. My secret: choosing snacks that contain hunger-fighting ingredients. Here are five favorites.
Let’s face it — most of us could do more for our bones. An estimated 44 million Americans are at risk for, or have, osteoporosis, a disease where bones become increasingly fragile and sometimes fracture. Though women are 4 times more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, men are affected as well. Exercise and some medications can help, but what you eat plays a vital role. Whether you’re worried or not, you can’t go wrong incorporating more of these foods into your daily routine.