Nutritious Nuts: Great for Snacking

Are you trying to eat a bit healthier these days? Or perhaps you’d like to drop a couple of pounds, but you have a hard time staying on the straight and narrow because of snacking (especially between meals)?

Nutritious Nuts – Great for Snacking | Foodal.com

It’s not that snacking itself is bad. No, the problem is usually in what we select for snacks. Going for what’s easy and convenient tends to mean store bought and processed.

And while grocery store snacks are convenient, they’re loaded with extras – fats of the unhealthy polyunsaturated types, and high levels of added sugar, sodium, preservatives, and those mysterious multi-syllable additives. 

Of course, fruit and vegetables are good snack choices, but sometimes you want something a little different.

You can always buy organic trail mix and granola bars, but the prices are high and the bars still contain a lot of ingredients that are better left alone. If we had better snack options available, it would be much easier to bypass the ones that load on the unwanted calories… and the guilt.

Foodal loves the Food to Live Walnuts (Raw, No Shell) available from Amazon

So, to that end, consider the humble nut. Create your own fruit and nut mixtures tailored to your personal tastes, or try the tasty recipes for Low-Fat Walnut Granola Bars and Pistachio-Cardamom Muffins posted below. Also, don’t forget a quality nutcracker if you choose in-shell selections.

Nut Nutrition

Nuts and seeds are a powerhouse among the food groups. These little nuggets pack a wide variety of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help keep our bodies fit and healthy, including maintaining eye health.

Here are a few of their wholesome nutritional properties:

  • Abundant in monounsaturated fats – the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that aid in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and boosting the good cholesterol (HDL) – nuts are heart healthy.
  • Nuts are a superb source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body.
  • They contain many of the B vitamins – notably riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and folates – necessary for efficient metabolism.
  • They’re rich in minerals. Copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are all found in rich supply[1].

They’re also high in dietary fiber, so just a small handful will satisfy. And because of their high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids similar to those found in seafood, they’re a great choice for those who don’t like fish. With a wonderful crunchy texture and a smooth, buttery flavor, nuts and seeds are energy dense and provide plenty of fuel when vitality lags.

Mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Choose nuts that are raw or dry roasted, and avoid those that have been roasted in oil or that have added salt.

Add some raw, unsalted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for a boost in folic acid, and tryptophan for better sleep. Mix in some raw, dried fruit such as unsweetened cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, and goji berries, and ginger root to assist metabolism. 

Choose from this list, a selection of what are known as the healthier nuts:

Walnuts

Walnuts - Great Brain Food | Foodal.com

The brains of the nut family, they contain the most concentrated amounts of antioxidants and the greatest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Foodal suggests the Food to Live Brand for the best quality.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts - Rich in Antioxidants | Foodal.com

Another good choice that’s rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. Available raw and organic for making butters or roasted for eating out of hand.

Almonds

Almonds - High concentrations of Vitamin E | Foodal.com

Almonds are known for their high concentrations of vitamin E, which helps to lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Again, these are available in a raw and organic form for making butter, or you can also purchase roasted varieties to use in recipes or simply to eat.

Pistachios

Pistachios - high in potassium and Vitamin E and lower in calories | Foodal.com

Loaded with potassium and vitamin E, pistachios are among the lowest in calories. Foodal recommends those sold by Fiddyment Farms as they are very lightly salted (just enough).

Cashews

Cashews - great for brain cells and full of zinc and iron | Foodal.com

While they may resemble kidneys, they’re actually good for brain cells, being plentiful in zinc and iron. For snacking we recommend Farm Fresh Nuts’ Dry Roasted Cashews with Himalayan Salt. Although it is a type of sodium, the Himalayan salt is a natural product that contains over 80 essential trace minerals to assist your body’s various systems, and it is a healthier alternative to the usual table salt.

For making raw nut butters, we recommend Food to Live’s Certified Organic Raw Cashews. We like Food’s to Live’s quality, and since they are US based, you can be confident that they are truly organic (USDA supervised and inspected).

If you love cashews, make sure to check out our delicious gluten free cashew brownie recipe!

Pecans

Pecans - high in Vitamin E and an American traditional nut | Foodal.com

Pecans are definitely a welcome boost for your eating routine because they provide a range of benefits that will support your well-being. Pecans include various forms of the antioxidant vitamin E, and additionally they contain phenolic compounds that also have antioxidant attributes.

Studies have shown that a diet regime high in pecans may reduce cholesterol by as much as sixteen percent, as a result of plant sterols present in pecans. These nuts also provide over twenty minerals and vitamins such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, B (folic acid and others), and E. These nuts are also loaded with fiber and protein.

Foodal recommends We Got Nuts’ Raw Pecans, available from Amazon. These enormous pecan halves are grown, packed and sealed in Georgia and are of premium quality. They have a very good taste and they are definitely big enough to use in your baking and cooking endeavors.

Macadamias

Macadamias - high in heart healthy monosaturated fats | Foodal.com

Heavy in monounsaturated fats that so good for heart health… but also among the highest in calories, so snack on these sparingly!

Foodal recommends Mauna Loa Macadamias. We like these as they are grown and packed fresh in Hawaii, are quite large, and have the best taste of any that we’ve tried.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil Nuts - high in selenium which may help prevent cancer | Foodal.com

Packed with selenium, which shows positive beneficial properties in cancer prevention, and can assist those with thyroid disease to increase their selenium intake without having to turn to various pills and capsules. If you don’t have a thyroid problem, you don’t want to overdo it on the selenium, so go easy on these.

Foodal recommends Food to Live’s Brazil Nuts. Their offering is among the freshest, and is all natural as well as certified organic.

Low Fat Granola Bars

A quick and easy recipe, these chewy granola bars are nutritious and make for a tasty snack. The dates add unprocessed sweetness while the walnuts and sunflower seeds add texture. And the cinnamon and orange zest adds a little extra zip of flavor. 

Low Fat Nut and Fruit Homemade Granola Bars | Foodal.com

Less expensive than bars purchased at the grocery store, they’re also delicious and packed with healthful ingredients. If you want to indulge in the complete “from scratch” experience, check out this recipe for granola.

Low fat nut and fruit homemade granola bar | Foodal.com
Low-Fat Pistachio Granola Bars
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Servings Prep Time
16 bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Low fat nut and fruit homemade granola bar | Foodal.com
Low-Fat Pistachio Granola Bars
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Servings Prep Time
16 bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg white lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dark honey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 orange zested
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios chopped
  • 2 cups low-fat granola
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Servings: bars
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white, honey, oil, vanilla, zest and juice of orange and cinnamon until blended.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granola, dates and walnuts. Stir in the wet mixture until well coated. Press firmly and evenly into the prepared pan with a spatula. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top, pressing to lightly embed the seeds.
  4. Bake until lightly browned at the edges, 20 – 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, turn onto a cutting board and cut into 16 bars.
  5. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
Recipe Notes

These chewy granola bars are low-fat and delicious. Perfect for lunch boxes or coffee breaks. Don't be afraid to throw in a few other nuts and seeds. I've added a few pumpkin seeds shown in this batch here.

Lowfat nut and fruit homemade granola bar | Foodal.com

 

 

Pistachio-Cardamom Muffins

Made with pistachios, buttermilk, and sweet masala-style spices including warming and flavorful cardamom, these muffins are a true taste treat. And the simple recipe, with short preparation and cooking times, makes these spicy-sweet muffins even more enjoyable.

Pistachio-Cardamom Muffins | Foodal.com

Make batches of mixed nuts, granola bars or muffins on the weekend and you’ll be set for the week – prepared with healthy and nutritious snacks.

Pistachio and Cardamom Muffins | Foodal.com
Pistachio-Cardamom Muffins
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Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Pistachio and Cardamom Muffins | Foodal.com
Pistachio-Cardamom Muffins
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts* chopped
  • 12 muffin liners
Servings: muffins
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and pistachios (less 3 tbsp.). Mix well.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, vanilla and egg.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring just until moistened.
  5. In a muffin tray, spray the muffin cup liners lightly with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among the cups and sprinkle tops of muffins with the remaining 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios.
  6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

The Masala-style spices in these muffins are a great metabolism booster and the perfect complement for the delicious and wholesome pistachios.

* Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the pistachios to sprinkle on top of muffins if desired.

Pistachio and Cardamom Muffins | Foodal.com

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

116 thoughts on “Nutritious Nuts: Great for Snacking

  1. I don’t think there’s ever been any doubt about the positive effects of nuts on our bodies. My mum loves to much on almonds or walnuts during the day because it really gives her a boost of energy. The only thing that irks me about nuts is their price. I mean I’d love to eat healthy and all that, but if I were to snack on almonds daily, that’d start to add up really quickly.

    One obvious nut that you didn’t mention here is PEANUTS!!! They’re cheap and quite good if they’re flavored. It’s the best of both worlds

    • Queen, just one problem with peanuts…they aren’t true nuts…they’re legumes (in the same family as beans and peas).

      • That’s new and interesting, stopped me right in my tracks,…they aren’t ‘true’ nuts…hmm, i never got that detail within the confines of a classroom, glad to be in the know 🙂

    • I’m crazy about them too QB, and I have a theory that they have a built in high price to prevent us from eating too many. Nutritious, healthy and energy dense they’re also rich in calories for such little gems. So, I think the price and time consumed in shelling them is a safeguard from Mother Nature to prevent over indulging!

  2. They make for a great snack, but some of them can be quite expensive just for a small bag! I love pistachios and cashews, there my favorite, but I also like to buy mixed bags for snacking on, there much better for you than crisps an junk food and usually taste much better too!

  3. Granola bars are so tasty! I make sure to always buy some when I go out shopping.
    Also I was wondering if I can make some kind of a healthy snack with cashews, they taste kind of sweet and are very good!

    • Try switching up some of the pistachios in the recipe above with cashews – maybe go half and and half or two thirds pistachios to one third chopped cashews. The flavors would work well together.

  4. Great post. As I got to the end I was thinking, “I wish there were a few recipes I could use to make these nuts a little more interesting. Then, just like that, there they were. I am for sure going to try the pistachio muffins. I think I will add a little fresh strawberry jam to the mix, just to give it a little extra pizazz. I really like poppy seed muffins, but I wonder, is that a particularly healthy seed or is it mostly just there for looks?

    • Let us know how the muffins turn out with the strawberry jam TinVanMan, sounds yummy. And poppy seeds do have some nutritional value – they’re a good protein and fiber source, and are high in calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. And what a great texture!

  5. I enjoy many different kinds of nuts, including all of the ones mentioned here. My problem is that I really like them salted, and they are of course much better for you if you’re not also eating all that salt. I’ve tried lightly salted, and I’m trying to condition myself to stick with those, but I still like the salty ones better.

    They are great for baking too. I make a delicious pistachio almond cake with the unsalted varieties. One layer is pistachio and one layer is almond, but it is far from healthy (especially since it’s best when made with butter cream frosting, lol).

    • That cake does sound delicious… as an alternative to salted nuts, have you tried toasting them with spices? Cumin, garlic powder, cayenne and just a pinch of sea salt will satisfy the salt craving. Mix the spices with a bit of olive oil in a skillet, add almonds (or other varieties) stir well for about one minute then cool before serving. And the spices are good for a metabolism boost as well.

      • That sounds excellent! Thank you for the tip, Lorna. I will have to try that out. I don’t need a ton of salt, just a bit more flavor, and this sounds like it will do the trick. I may skip the Cayenne, since it doesn’t seem to like me very much, but I’m all for adding garlic!

        Sounds simple enough. Great idea!

        And, missbishi.. the cake is fantastic!

  6. I have enjoyed reading about these different nuts and all the nutrients they offer. I love them, and I have to keep myself from eating to many and having a heavy stomach. Frito lays have nothing on nuts!
    I like the recipes and look forward to making these treats.
    I also just learned about dry roasting. I don’t want to eat oily roasted, so dry roasted gives me a nice option.

    • I agree with you, dry roasted is better. After I roast ’em, I let ’em cool for a bit, then I just place ’em on a Paper towel and go for it! The good thing about nuts is that there’s no need to roast them with fatty oils because there’s naturally essential oils in them already.

      • Dry roasting is defiantly the way to go – works well with some spices added too. (Cumin, garlic powder and cayenne are my favorites.)

  7. The best snack to have when at home, enjoying a nice movie, is roasted mixed nuts – NOT popcorn.

    Pecans, Peanuts,Hazelnuts,and Raisins, makes for a much more healthy snack. A cup of each will provide a family of four. I know, I’ve done it! Lol. On the other hand, I want to try the above recipe for the, “Low-Fat Pistachio Granola Bars”. I bet the’ll hit the spot.

  8. What a comprehensive and informative article – thanks Lorna!

    People often state that nuts are to be avoided due to their high fat content but what they don’t realise is that they are fantastic in moderation as the fat they do contain is beneficial. They are a great addition to any healthy eating plan.

    • Glad you like it missbishi – and as you say, they are great in moderation and a wonderful alternative for those that are fans of fish. Thanks for your comments.

  9. Being a vegetarian I do rely on nuts as a snack. The only thing I hate is when they get stuck in my teeth or when I choke on them. My parents love them and they have pre-mixed jars around the house, but I pick out the cashews and dry roasted and honey roasted ones. They are also great for my vegan friends as they are generally safe for them to eat.

  10. Could it be that buying nuts in shell is the healthier option than the one’s that have already been shelled? I’ve heard people feel when they have been shelled the possibly that they’ve been over treated could affect the health benefits of consuming them.

    • Well, in the shell, they wouldn’t be handled the way shelled ones are. And certainly roasting in oil and adding salt takes away from some of their nutritional value. Would that be the over treatment you’re thinking of Joan?

      • I think it’s a handling issue. I’m not taking any added seasonings into account. Just the steps taken in factories to ‘clean’ the nut before packaging.

  11. I’ve made it a habit to make nuts an important part of my diet. It’s an essential food for paleo diets anyway, and it’s packed full of protein and good cholesterol. I usually consume them in either granola form or I buy them in bags and munch away at them when I’m feeling hungry.

    • Thanks Tommy, they’re great in granola and I like to add some walnuts to my breakfast yogurt as well. And, they’re a lovely topping for salads too.

  12. I read an article, it said walnuts are good for the brain, and for some reason, they look brain-shaped…don’t you think? …although i find them having a bland taste, i could try mixing them up with cashew nuts {my favorite} to add life into my taste buds 🙂 …now, i never understand why, after indulging in macadamias, i tend to have a dull headache…hence i like keeping off totally 🙁 … i must say, these are wonderful ideas on snacking, i guess my sugar trip shall be short-tripped after all… and why not, am all in for this amazing idea…all that remains is implementing 😉
    Page bookmarked!

    • I do think they look brain shaped! And walnuts are one of the healthiest in the nut family… they’re pretty tasty mixed with pistachios too Diane.

  13. Those muffins look and sound absolutely stunning. I can see them making an appearance on our menu very soon!

    I love nuts, particularly cashew and pistachio but find it so very hard to limit myself to a sensible proportion! I also find dry roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds to be a great snack.

    • I hear you Connie, I could eat them all day! And seeds too. I like to put the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in my breakfast yogurt along with sesame seeds, for the full range of omega 3 & 6 oils.

  14. I remember growing up, my aunt always said for me to eat some more nuts and to snack on them if I’m hungry. She especially wanted me to eat walnuts, and said it’s good for brain development because it looks like a brain 😛 I used to really like all the nuts but as I grow older I find myself to go towards cashews more than anything else. While cashews may not be the healthiest of the bunch, it is still my favorite (followed by the macadamia nut). Plus cashews are cheap compared to macadamia, which is always nice!

  15. Oh my goodness! Those pistachio-cardamom muffins look so good! That recipe is going in my book, definitely! With high blood pressure I have found that eating nuts can help. Anything I can enjoy while getting my blood pressure down is a blessing. Thank you

  16. Glad you liked the post kana_marie, it’s amazing how beneficial they are – I think that’s so cool they help with your blood pressure.

  17. Being semi-vegetarian, nuts are an important source of protein and healthy fats for me. I love to mix dried fruits and nuts with sunflower seeds for an energy-boosting snack during the day. I’m always looking for new ways to eat nuts, so these recipes are right up my alley. Those muffins are calling my name, I’ve got some spare cardamom…

    • They are fabulous for energy, aren’t they? I have an energy lag around 3 in the afternoon, but a handful of nuts with some figs of dates and a cup of tea gets me back on track pretty quick. Let us know how those muffins turn out Leopard.

      • Oooh, this is another great piece of information. Not only do they boost metabolism but they give more energy too? Nuts are like the perfect food.

        That afternoon lag kicks my butt some days. Now, I’ll know how to combat it better. I just bought some almonds, so I hope those will do the trick for now. I’ll have to get stocked up on a nice variety of nuts for snacking.

        • They are an amazing food, I love them. Maybe a bit too much! Try adding some raw seeds to your mix for the afternoon droops – pumpkin, sesame and sunflower all work well and are loaded with healthy fats.

          • You are right. The addition of sunflower seeds is a really good choice. I guess I tend to think of seeds and nuts in the same category, since I’ll switch back and forth between them sometimes. Now, I’ll just have both.

            Sunflower seed kernels are great in salads too, as are walnuts and other varieties. I’m finding more ways to incorporate them besides snacking.

  18. I love all nuts, but pistachios in particular, and those recipes look amazing. I’m planning to try both of these eventually, and shared with friends, so they can benefit, as well.

  19. I love snacking on nuts and seeds when trying to curb my carbs. My husband was recently on a ketogenic diet and he basically had to cut out all his carbs and snacking out. For him these nuts and seeds were a god-send because they have very little carbs, mostly fats and proteins. I love that muffin recipe the most and I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    • They’re definately a life-line for snacking when trying to reduce carbs or weight, and surprisingly satisfyling – all that healthy oil. Enjoy your muffins!

  20. When I went on a strict diet for three months in the middle of last year nuts were my saving grace! It seemed like I couldn’t eat any of the things that I usually did and ended up making my own sort of nut trail mix that I could snack on guilt free throughout the day. With all the health benefits, versatility and great taste it’s too bad many people relegate nuts to the bar or unhealthy snack mixes!

    • Very interesting jack888, nuts are like the secret ingredient to staying on track with a diet. And as you point out, a great way to snack without any guilt – so important to being able to complete a diet and enjoy the benefits.

  21. I’d definitely have to try some of these! Cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts, oh how I can taste them now! As a little girl, I use to help my family pick the walnuts and we’d make several goodies out of these delicious babies! Although I was never a real fan of pecan or walnut, it was great to be able to bond and spend some good ol’ wholesome family time!

    • We had hazlenut trees anadrotowski, and it was a fun family time when harvest came around… as I recall, the chipmunk families were pretty happy about it too!

  22. I’ve been avoiding nuts because my family always tells me that they have too much oil and that they cause pimples. I don’t really believe in it but when I’m eating them I always get reminded of this and feel kind of guilty and thus not eating very often. But now that I know that they’re great for snacking, I’ll definitely be consuming the more often! Cashews and pistachios have always been a huge favorite of mine. Just thinking about them know makes my mouth water.

  23. Well, they do contain a lot of oil, but of the healthy variety keytcee. That’s one of the reasons they satisfy so well with small amounts… and as with so many things, moderation is the key to enjoying their many benefits.

  24. It really is amazing what you can do with a few nuts. The ideas are tremendous and they add a crunch to almost anything. The fact that they are so nutritious also helps. I had no idea how healthy nuts can be and all the ways you can use them. I love nuts and so does my family. I am going to incorporate more of these into our diet. My family really enjoy nuts as snacks too.

    • They are an amazing food oraclemay, and one that can be used as a corner post for good health. Thanks for your comments.

  25. I’m nuts about nuts! Almonds, pistachios, and cashews are my favorite. I love the idea of pistachio muffins; I’m going to give that recipe a try for sure. Cashews are probably my favorite. I read somewhere that a handful of cashews daily, because of the niacin content, can help treat depression. Has anyone heard anything about this?

    • Niacin is one of the B vitamins which do promote feelings of well being, so they might help with some forms of depression. Hope you enjoy the muffins.

  26. Ahh yes, nuts are wonderful things, aren’t they?
    I would like to point out that if you eat too many of them, it can have pretty adverse effects on your body. Even with low-fat options, they are high in fats (luckily the good kind), and will lead to weight gain if you eat too much. Also, for those who are reading this and are thinking about starting on a raw food diet, great choice!

    BUT, nuts are also high in fiber, so be careful because you might cause yourself some digestive problems if you’re unaccustomed to eating lots of fiber. Remember, moderation is still key!

    Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to try the recipes listed here!

  27. They’re definately high in energy and in healthy fats, and best enjoyed in moderation to get the most of their many benefits. Enjoy the recipes!

  28. Great post, and I love the recipe. This might just be me being overcautious, but I think it is good idea to try to look into where the nuts are coming from. Where I live we have to be very conscious of source of our food supply, and hear reports sometimes about nut growers or wholesales doing things like bleaching the nuts for a better appearance. The better companies are always very transparent about their processes and supply chain which can help ensure that nothing unnatural is being done before it reaches our homes.

    • Thanks for your words of caution asbrown… certainly not all marketers are scrupulous. Choosing organic is always a good idea, but not always an option – so a bit of due diligence in source information will go a long ways to ensuring healthy products for our consumption.

  29. Nuts are definitely nutritional to the body. I personally like them in a trail mix with dried fruit and M&Ms. The only thing sucky about them or anything remotely healthy for you is the cost. I think it’s outrageous how I can go into a store and get a candy bar or 2 for about .99 cents to a dollar, but if i want a bag of seeds I got to pay $5. Then we complain about obesity and the healthiness of America but we jack up the prices of nutritional foods. Sorry for the rant but it truly upsets me.

    • Rant on denelizr… it doesn’t make sense that unhealthy is cheap and nutritious is expensive. And certainly sends a contradictory message to consumers, delegating good health choices to only those that can afford to eat healthy.

  30. Pistachios for life. I can’t count the number of times I’ve pulled into a gas station for gas only to find myself with five bags of pistachios. Really though, it’s amazing how wonderful and delicious nuts are. I’m a huge snacker so when I snack, I’m never really thinking about the taste of whatever i’m eating. I end up going over my caloric limit and get disappointed with myself. With a trail mix I make myself from a variety, I savor every last taste because of how dense they are with flavor. They’re packed with essential proteins, vitamins, and healthy fats to keep you full and healthy.

    I’m gonna save that low-fat pistachio granola bar recipe because that bar looks so dang good. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the post ctg, making your own trail mix and portioning out the size is a good way to stay within those limits and get a lot of nutritional benefits as well. And the granola bars are pretty tasty, you might want to double up the recipe…

  31. Nuts are amazing. They’re one of my go-to snacks and are perfect for cutting down hunger. There is one downside to them though. I had a friend who used the excuse that nuts were healthy, as an opportunity to snack on them practically anytime she was just sitting down to watch TV or read. There are a lot of calories in nuts and just because they’re healthy, doesn’t mean they don’t need to be moderated. You can put on pounds if you’re not careful!

    • Very true Yosh, nutritious and delicious but very calorie dense as well. Moderation is certainly needed, although difficult at times!

  32. This article reminds me, I need to buy more nuts to snack on. I like the idea of roasting them yourself with some herbs and spices and adding your own salt. Should make for a healthier snack with more, interesting, flavor options. I think I’ve seen a nut recipe that flavors them with garlic, parsley, and possibly basil. Rosemary with salt and pepper would be great too. Good way to use up leftover herbs.

    Like others said, with their high protein, fat, fiber, and mineral content nuts are a great addition to diets low, or devoid, of animal products. We don’t consume a lot of animal products so we definitely need to start munching on more nuts.

    Some people voiced concerns over the price of nuts. They are a bit pricey when compared to highly process, highly subsidized, junk foods but you can buy in bulk at some stores which will bring down the price. Also, since they are so filling and nutrient dense, a little goes a long way. I don’t feel I consume as many nuts as compared to popcorn, chips, or crackers when snacking.

    • I think most herbs make a good seasoning on nuts. If you like them on the spicy side, try this: on a baking sheet, mix nuts with a bit of olive oil, smoky paprika, cumin and sea salt then roast on 325 for 10 – 15 minutes, turning every 4 minutes or so. Very tasty!

      And yes, nuts are pricey but you make a good point as they satisfy much quicker than processed snack foods – and so much healthier.

      Thanks for your comments lebrennan.

  33. I would have to say my favorite nuts are almonds, walnuts, and macadamias! I love them all dry roasted! Literally, nuts make up the best snacks because they are so filling and healthy! Whenever I eat nuts I never have to stress too much about how much I’m eating which is a plus for me.

  34. Almonds are my favorite. I don’t like them as much plain though. I have to watch my salt intake and will often reach for the walnuts instead.

    • Plain almonds are perfect for adding your own salt-free seasonings nytegeek. Mix them with a bit of olive oil, add a little of your favorite spices or herbs and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet on a low heat, 325 F, for 10 – 15 minutes, turning often to prevent burning.

      Of course, walnuts are a pretty good option too!

  35. I have had pecans with honey on it. It has been a long time since I’ve had it but if I find it again I’ll buy them. My mom loves her butter pecan icecream although I don’t think that counts as guilt free snacking. I used to eat walnuts as a child but I don’t eat them as much as I used to.

  36. In San Jose on the Baja peninsula, markets sell little cakes made of pecans, pumpkin seeds and honey and they’re absolutely delicious. But I think that’s only time I’ve ever seen honeyed pecans…

  37. Thank you for the post and some very delicious looking recipes! Though buying them bagged is sometimes convenient, it’s just sometimes very satisfying to be able to crack the nuts yourself, especially when you want to keep your hands busy during recreational time. The granola bar recipe looks great, and will be definitely checking it out.

    • … and cracking your own makes it a more ‘mindful’ process, because they’re so darned easy to eat by the handful! Hope you enjoy the granola bars Nate.

  38. It’s worth noting that to get the most nutrition out of nuts, you need to be certain to chew them all the way. Because the digestive system cannot digest nuts, along with most vegetables, without them being fully chewed, you will not get the full nutritious benefits if you do not take your time chewing them. When I was beginning to work out I snacked on peanuts and almonds almost daily, and I noticed more often than not at least a few of them would (excuse me for being crass) exit the body the same way they entered. So if you’re working out and want to get every last morsel of protein out of your diet, don’t inhale your nuts like a caveman, but take the time to chew your food so that the body can properly absorb the nutrition.

    Great article. New subscriber here, I look forward to reading more.

    • Thanks for your insights McWindy. Chewing your food thoroughly is certainly important for proper digestion and to get the most of the nutrients – ‘wolfing’ food just seems to leave us wanting more. Not a healthy habit…

  39. I love nuts! Great snack and quite nutritious. I am a bit of a cashew addict, which often leads me to binge on them and fill myself, because they are quite caloric too, haha. It’s still better than snacking on chips and stuff.

    • They are a great snack Astdua, but as you point out they are calorie laden as well. Best taken in moderation, although difficult at times for a nut addict like myself!

  40. I have a soft spot for hazelnuts, they’ve ruined me for most of the others. Another I can’t resist is the Brazil nut, I love how smooth and savory they are. But like I said, I love hazelnuts above all else. The initial crunch when you bite into them is such a good indicator of what a treat they are. When I find a nut mix with hazelnuts, they’re always the first to go.

  41. While they aren’t considered as nuts, I’ve found dried figs, raisins and berries in loads of trail mixes. They just complement the taste and texture of nuts so well, plus they are loaded with fibre, so I would definitely recommend snacking on them combined!

    • Dried fruit makes a beautiful compliment for nuts Cheddar, but they also have a very high natural sugar content. So, like nuts, they’re best enjoyed on a moderate scale. Not always an easy task!

  42. Luckily the snacks currently on my desk are nuts and cranberries! Although there may also be some chocolates and coconut ice there as well, but they were given as Christmas presents 🙂

    I didn’t know pecans were so good for you – I’ve really only eaten them within pecan pies but will have to add some to my snack box from now on.

    Cashews and macadamias are definitely my favourite nuts, yum! Oh, and maybe try some Queensland (Australia) macadamias as they’re beautiful!

    • Sounds like a great combo for a Christmas treat LSA! I had the good fortune of sampling some of your macadamias when visiting down under a few years back, and they are delicious. So rich! Thanks for you comments.

  43. I love nuts and snack on the all the time. I find they are so filling. However my biggest issue is that I over snack on them. I often grab a big handful which is probably twice the recommend portion. They are also very high in calories and fat. I really like the prepackaged service sizes of nuts. You can get them at trader joes. This helps me control my portion size.

  44. Portion size can be a challenge with nuts KM.

    I have a mindfulness practice that helps me control how much I consume – I can only eat nuts if I’m willing to sit down and do nothing else except savor them slowly. By putting my full attention on their flavor, fragrance, color, texture etc., it makes a small handful seem satisfying and I can then leave them alone. Because what I’d really like to do is bury my face in the bowl!

  45. I love eating different types of nuts as well. When my grandmother was alive she used to buy walnuts with the shell on them. Then you would have to Crack the shell open to finally get inside. It was too much work for me being little at the time. I think pistachio has gotten more popular through out the years or at least advertised more on tv. It’s still alot better than an ad for junk food!

    • I think cracking your own makes you appreciate them more! Pistachio’s do seem to be gaining in popularity, and without the red dye they used to come with…

  46. I really like snacking on different varieties of nuts. I enjoyed reading this article and it was great learning about all of the great nutritional benefits of the different types. I never knew that cashews were good for our brains. Now I have more of a reason to eat even more!

  47. My family and I are nuts about nuts! Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are our favorites. Recently, we had a member of the family develop a case of shingles. It was recommended she not eat nuts until she was over it due to the high arginine content in nuts. So, the whole family went nutless for a few weeks in an act of solidarity. And believe me, we almost went nuts being nutless!!! Thanks for the article, I’m going to have to give the pistachio muffins a try!

  48. I’ve found even more benefits. These guys are also heart healthy as well as being a better snack choice when trying to avoid too many “bad” carbs. I’ve incorporated more into my diet, and it’s great. They are tasty as well as being good for me (in moderation, of course).

    I am hoping to find a simple method for making nut butters from some of my favorites. I still want to try the recipes listed here as well. The orange zest one sounds so yummy.

  49. Tasty and healthy’s the way to go Zyni. recently I’ve been mixing some with unsweetened coconut chips… lots of good fats and very satisfying.

  50. Almonds are my personal favourite, soaking them overnight is also a good tactic to make them easier to digest as they are higher in water content and you reduce the natural enzyme inhibitors that are in the almond skins.

    • And so good for you Eatwell! Thanks for the tip to soak them, particularly helpful for those looking to get the most in terms of nutrient absorption.

  51. I eat a lot of nuts, they give me a lot of energy before a workout. I also grab a handful for breakfast sometimes if I don’t have time to make anything – that keeps me going until mid morning at the very least. Although they are expensive to buy, I get mine from the cooking section of the supermarket as, for some reason, buying them from that section is so much less expensive than actually buying them from the snacks section!

    • They’re super for an energy boost ukfoodiegirl! And buying them in the baking or bulk sections is much more economical – none of the small, shiny packaging to pay for. Thanks for your comments.

  52. Interesting to know that nuts are abundant in monounsaturated fats, this definitely helps one to plan out an effective diet plan!

    • They’re a powerhouse of good fats divinemaredi, and can be very effective for diet plans – in moderation of course!

  53. I will have to try that recipe with the granola bars. I love nuts, especially walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts. They give you a good amount of vitamins. I need to include them in my diet more regularly so they have a positive effect on my health.

    • Hope you enjoy the granola bars sahara! They’re a nice way to add a bit more of their flavor and benefits to the diet.

  54. I can completely relate to this, sometimes I’m really craving for something to eat while I’m watching TV or being on the internet but as you’ve said I end up feeling really guilty, and it’s not cute. Actually, this post reminds me to my uncle, he does the exact same thing, but instead of nuts, he does it with seeds, and they are so good! my personal favorite is corn seeds, he makes a kind or long process and they end up tasting kind of spicy but acidic at the same time, yum!
    Also, thanks for sharing the nut bar, I really need to give it a try.

    • Seeds are pretty awesome in their texture, taste, and nutrition as well anorexorcist, and make an equally great snack! Enjoy the nut bar!

  55. I’ve always been nuts for nuts! My favorites are probably pistacios, cashews, pecans, and walnuts, but I enjoy almost any nut I can think of. I have a few good recipes for sweets that require nuts, like my pistachio cake that is a hit at every American Legion Ladies’ Auxillary luncheon and my pecan tarts that are everyone’s favorite Christmas treat. However, I have gotten into some dishes with chicken that have required some nuts recently (cashew chicken, being one of them). I have also gotten into the habit of adding nuts, particularly almonds or walnuts to my salads now and then. It’s a great way to add some protein without adding meat!

    • Oh, count me in as a fan of pecan tarts! And nuts and seeds on a salad is another favorite, in moderation of course… thanks for your thoughts Lisa.

  56. Give me walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts any day. I just love them. In fact, my favorite snack is chocolate covered peanuts, but for obvious reasons I can’t really have it as often or as much as I would love to. This article is great because it made me realize that I can still have the nuts that I love as a snack, but in a more healthy and nutritious way.

  57. I am a snacker, always have been, and it shows, i’ve gained a pouch because of this. I find that instead of snacking on quick sugary items, I eat nuts. Since I have started doing this, I have actually lost a few pounds. I tend to eat walnuts (probably more than I should in one day), almonds and pistachios.

  58. Now isn’t that a nice trade off? Give up sugary snacks for healthy nuts and drop a couple of pounds… thanks for letting us know Ashley.

  59. This post was really making me hungry! I’m a vegetarian, and when people ask me how I get my protein, I always include nuts. They’re versatile they make great snacks, they travel well, and they’re good sources of nutrients. I like to put sugared pecans or honey roasted peanuts on vanilla ice cream, and almonds work great in a pot of rice. The only thing I don’t like is that nuts are so expensive. Sometimes the ones in the shell are a bit cheaper, but not by very much.

  60. This is great! I love all kinds of recipes, especially the sweets! Nuts actually have tons of benefits! I am currently “dieting”- or just eating more healthy and trying to only consume “whole” foods, and I do eat nuts daily as part of my diet. I notice they make me full full all day actually, even though I only eat a small handful! The pistachio and walnuts happen to be my favorite.

    • They do pack a lot of dense nutrition into a little package Ashley, which really helps with feeling satisfied for a long time. A natural for eating healthier!

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