I love nuts! My whole family is nuts, including myself! I add nuts to cookies and brownies. I add them to my ice cream. I add nuts to my salads. They are a major component of my trail mix. If I’m hitting the vending machine, my candy bar choice always includes nuts. When I’m looking for a snack, I grab a handful to munch on. Nuts are loaded with protein and flavor and satisfy my crunching, munching cravings. What’s not to love?!
Here is a glossary of great nuts. It is in alphabetical order because I can’t choose a favorite.
Almonds have a mild, creamy, sweet flavor. They are low in calories, higher in protein and calcium than any other nut, and are rich monounsaturated fats.
Brazil Nuts have a creamy, sweet, oily flavor. One ounce contains 780% of the daily recommended intake of selenium, which helps metabolism. During harvest, five-pound pods filled with nuts fall from 200-foot-tall trees and the pods don’t break.
Cashews have a mild, sweet, buttery flavor. They are high in iron (almost 2mg per ounce), zinc, and copper. The shells are poisonous but the red and yellow bulbous stems are known for making cashew apple juice.
Hazelnuts have an earthy, sweet, mildly bitter (from the skins) flavor. They are especially low in saturated fat and a good source of vitamin E, protein, and fiber. They also have the highest source of folate (a B vitamin) among nuts. They are also known as filberts.
Macadamia Nuts have a buttery, creamy, rich flavor. They are high in healthful monounsaturated fats. Studies have proven them effective in reducing cholesterol.
Peanuts have a rich, earthy flavor. They are rich in protein and arginine, an amino acid that can help improve blood pressure and circulation. Peanuts, which are technically legumes, make up 67% of total U.S. nut consumption.
Pecans have a sweet, stringent flavor. They contain the most vitamins and mineral of any nut (more than 19, including vitamins A and E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. The largest pecan processors shell 150,000 pounds daily.
Pine Nuts have a mild and creamy flavor. They are packed with protein, vitamin A, and phosphorus. They are actually a pinecone seed and a primary ingredient in pesto. A condition called “pine nut mouth” (possibly stemming from certain varieties) causes a lingering intense bitter taste.
Pistachios have a rich flavor and are very sweet. They are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that may protect against eye degeneration. They are also rich in potassium. The green color comes from chlorophyll and lutein.
Walnuts have a fruity, tart, astringent flavor. They are the only nut that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acid (one ounce contains 25g). Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man and originated in Persia, dating back to 7,000 B.C.
Make Your Own Nut Butter
In a food processor, process 4 cups of your favorite roasted nut. Add 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until creamy, about 4-8 minutes, depending on the nut. Makes 16 (2 tablespoon) servings.
When we go camping, my food tote always includes a mixed bag of nuts. If someone gets the hangries, all they need to do is grab a handful to tide them over until the next meal. Nuts are solid camp snacks. We love them!
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