Healthy, fulfilling snacks can be hard to come by sometimes. Whether you’re out and about running errands or at home enjoying your day, nuts can be a great addition to your diet, and many of them are excellent sources of nutrition. Besides being a meat-free protein source and great for healthy fats, nutrition facts include:
- A one ounce portion of almonds has 4 grams of fiber, which is roughly 20% of the recommended daily intake for older women and about 13% for older men;
- One ounce of shelled pistachios has 285 mg of potassium, and most adults do not consume the recommended amount of potassium daily; and
- The same portion (one ounce) of cashews holds a whopping 1.7 mg of iron, which is more than two ounces of ground beef!
Of course, that’s just a small sampling of the nuts available and their nutrition. Pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts are all wonderful options, too. If you are interested in adding more nuts to your routine, look for unsalted or lightly salted varieties, since even small portions of nuts can add a significant amount of sodium to your daily amount. Nuts are terrific in moderation because they can be high in calories, so it may help to buy the preportioned packages. Another alternative is to make your own trail mix by mixing together a few varieties of nuts, some sunflower or pumpkins seeds, raisins, unsweetened dried banana or other fruit, and some dark chocolate.
Besides being great for snacking, nuts can complement a dish or meal well. Consider adding a handful or walnuts or almonds to a salad for some additional protein and crunch, or pop them into baked goods for a nice treat. Peanuts or cashews can pizazz up a stir fry in no time. Start your morning with yogurt, fruit, and nuts; or liven up oatmeal by sprinkling your favorite nuts on top. The possibilities go on and on!
For more inspiration, many nut growers have websites with recipe ideas. You can check out
Walnut recipes here: https://walnuts.org/recipes/?
Pistachio recipes are found at: https://americanpistachios.org/recipes-and-snacking
The Global Cashew Council keeps an archive of recipes here: https://www.cashews.org/en/recipes.
Not to be left out, hazelnut recipes are hosted at: https://oregonhazelnuts.org/recipe/.