After recently indulging in a handful of fresh almonds and Brazil nuts that I soaked overnight, I was definitely feeling nuts for nuts. The rich, meaty taste and delicate crunch of these earthy delicacies reminded me of how satiating they can be. I wanted to consume more than the proportioned handful I gave myself, but the little nutrition angel on my shoulder reminded me about moderation with nut consumption.
Nuts are known to be high in calories and fats, but are nevertheless a part of a healthy diet in moderation. Luckily their high fat content is mostly in monounsaturated fat, A.K.A. the good fat. Yippee! Monounsaturated fat, unlike the big bad saturated fat, is a valuable macro nutrient important in the normal functioning of your amazing body.
Nuts also are filled with necessary nutrients such as essential fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, fiber, phytonutrients, and minerals. As part of an enjoyable and healthy diet you can count your serving of nuts as part of the protein group. A portion size of 1/3 cup of nuts is equal to 1 oz. meat. Try incorporating these grounding life sources as a mid morning or mid afternoon snack for an energy boost.
When buying nuts, purchase those that are super fresh, unsalted, and organic if possible. It is best to buy un-shelled nuts which have a longer storage life. Nuts can go rancid quickly and you do NOT want to eat rancid nuts as they wreak havoc on your body. Once the shell is removed make sure to store the nuts in closed, glass containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent rancidity.
I also highly recommend soaking your nuts to release their enzymes which will help you digest them better. Place the nuts in a glass cup and cover with water. Allow them to soak overnight, rinse, dry and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. You can eat them raw, dehydrated, or lightly roast them to bring out their flavor (350 degrees for 5-10 minutes). Yummy!
Good ways to add nuts to your diet aside from just snacking on them include adding them to cereals, granola or muesli, and salads. You can also use them to accentuate casseroles, pastas, vegetable dishes, or encrusting tofu (check out this recipe by one of my favorite vegan chefs) I was once served a unique dish that consisted of tofu encrusted with toasted macadamia nuts, spices, and a popular Colombian coconut seasoning called Titote which is normally used to make coconut rice. Oh my goodness was that an explosion of flavor that tantalized my sweet tooth and made me feel instantly transported to a tropical island.
So once again, be creative and have fun with Mother Nature's ingredients. Food is a total sensory delight and also livens our spirit. Eat good quality and fresh nuts in moderation and maybe you'll go nuts for nuts!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.