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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Go Nuts . . . Even in Soup!

October 22nd is National Nut day and those that knew me as a child would be shocked at how excited I am about nuts these days.  I have learned not only to eat nuts, but to love them, and the beauty of nuts is that they love you right back.  Here are a few of the wonderful health benefits of nuts:

They are good sources of –

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants
  • Heart-healthy fats
  • Fiber

They help with –

  • Reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Reducing risk of stroke
  • Weight loss and healthy weight maintenance

Truly nuts are delicious nutrition powerhouses in, well, a nutshell. I encourage my clients that if they are not allergic to nuts, they would do well to incorporate nuts into their daily routine.

My top three favorite nuts are:

1. Cashews – provides protein, iron, magnesium (critical for heart health) and copper (antioxidant), plus they're so cute with their crooked little shape!

         2. Pistachios – one serving contains as much potassium as an orange or half of a large banana and 3 grams of fiber - as much as ½ cup cooked broccoli. 

    3. Peanuts
    – have more protein than any other nut – 7 g per serving and as the cheapest nut, you get great nutritional value. 

    Ways to enjoy nuts from the commonplace to the creative:

    ·      Plain.  Nothing like a handful of nuts to satisfy a salty, crunchy craving.  

    ·      At breakfast.  Top your oatmeal, granola or yogurt with some nuts or spread some nut butter on toast to boost the nutrition of your first meal of the day and tide you over longer.

    ·      Sandwiches – beyond PB&J. A little nut butter mixed with some soy, ginger and chili paste turns a plain chicken sandwich into an Asian culinary adventure. 

    ·      Soups Yes, I just said soups as a way to use nuts.  Ok, so for the trepidatious cook, start with sprinkling some pine nuts or chopped, roasted hazelnuts on your favorite minestrone or Italian-inspired soup.  For the more adventurous, there are plenty of nut soup and stew recipes.  

         Here are links to just a couple examples:

    Cream of Walnut Soup (Taste of Home)

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