A handful of nuts, raw or roasted with a touch of salt, are delicious all on their own. They’re easy to take on the go, and they serve as a nutritional powerhouse with a wealth of nutrients, making them a great choice for snacking any time of the day. With good amounts of heart-healthy fats, just a handful of plain nuts a day can help improve overall health.
A nut is actually a fruit made up of what is usually an edible seed or kernel encased in a hard shell. Oftentimes, especially around the fall and winter holidays, you can find mixes including walnuts, pecans and hickory nuts, among others, freshly collected from the land and for sale on the stands at markets. Each autumn at the farmers’ market in my hometown, there is a vendor who offers freshly roasted nuts to snack on while perusing the aisles, which is a hard treat to beat on a chilly morning.
Some nuts, like black walnuts, have very thick shells and can be difficult to crack. Such nuts require a nut-cracking tool to break the shell and get at the meat inside. Pistachios often come roasted, with the shell half-cracked, ready to pull apart so you can pop the kernel into your mouth. You can simply purchase other nuts in bulk, like almonds and pine nuts, already shelled and ready for eating or cooking. If a recipe calls for chopped nuts and you’re not up to doing the chopping yourself, most nut varieties can be purchased already chopped. Check the baking aisle of the grocery store.
If you are looking to incorporate these nutritious little nuggets into your diet more often, try these recipes, and they just might end up in your regular kitchen rotation.
• Banana Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe
• Orange Zucchini Bread Recipe
• Zucchini Cookies Recipe
• Blackberry Cake Recipe
• Blueberry Muffin Recipe
• Granny’s Hickory Nut Pie Recipe
• Crunchy Broccoli Salad Recipe