Have you noticed? Nuts are everywhere. In foods, in spreads, even in the news.
Over the years, my feelings about nuts have ranged from extreme dislike, to ambivalent to “sure, why not?”; these days, I can honestly say I love ’em (though please don’t put them in cookies or cinnamon rolls–that’s never going to be ok with me).
I buy our household nut supply at Costco, where you can get big tubs of (well, anything really, it is Costco) almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, you name it. We eat a lot of cashews, with almonds tossed in. A month or so ago, when I scored my 5 dolla chair, I also picked up a pretty, antique jar just perfect for the family nut stash. We all grab handfuls throughout the day as a quick and filling snack. And most hikes or lengthy family outings are not complete without a baggie of ‘mix” for all to share. Mix is our word for a medley of nuts, and dried fruit (and sometimes chocolate or butterscotch chips, though I’ve been leaving those out since the week o’ sugar.) Lately I’ve been adding pumpkin seeds (pepitas) too. While not so exciting on their own, with the other stuff, they add a little something special.
Why are we so nuts about nuts? Well, lots of reasons. They’re portable, (and non-messy which is great for backseat snacking), protein and healthy-fat-packed, just a few fill you up, and they’re a nice alternative to processed, junky “bars” and other “snack foods.”
Of course you have to be careful, because not all nuts are created equal. The healthiest nuts include almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans. Other varieties, like peanuts, cashews, macadamias, etc. have their place in a healthy diet. Watch out for heavily salted, chocolate-covered, honey-roasted treats. Eating a whole bag of Trader Joe’s cinnamon almonds is not a good choice!
Here’s something else I find interesting: recent studies show that even though nuts are technically high in calories and (healthy) fat, they may help you lose weight.
So what are you waiting for? Get crackin’!
Whew, I made it through that whole post without any inappropriate nut jokes. That’s pretty impressive, considering I live with three boys. I’m surrounded. I mean it’s totally nuts up in here! I guess I’m more mature than I thought.