Going nuts about…NUTS!

Nuts are fantastic!  They are nutritional awesomeness all packaged up. Loaded with healthy fats, fibre, protein, vitamin E and minerals such copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium*, selenium and zinc. Nuts make an amazing snack and are fantastic to include as part of your meals everyday too.

 

Not only that, nuts are also super good for keeping your heart healthy too, they can help you manage your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease**, honestly what more could you want? Go nuts I say!

 

Here are some great ways to include nuts every day!

 

Almonds

  • Almonds are great to eat whole with fresh or dried fruit for a healthy snack.
  • Sliced or whole almonds are perfect to sprinkle over salads or on top of yoghurt.
  • Ground almonds can be used in healthy baking.

 

Cashews

  • Add cashews to hot breakfasts, sautéed vegetables, and curries.
  • Raw cashews are really nice in salads.
  • You can blend cashews and use them to make a sauce instead of using cream (you soak them then blend them).

 

Hazelnuts

  • Roasted hazelnuts are great in salads made with couscous, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Perfect to sprinkle on roasted vegetables.
  • Chop hazelnuts and add to stir fried green vegetables, great with Brussels sprouts too.

 

Brazil nuts

  • Eat them raw or chopped up with breakfast for your daily dose of selenium.
  • Perfect addition to homemade healthy cereal bars or nut/seed balls.

 

Peanuts

  • Asian inspired satay dishes and stir-fries.
  • Sprinkle onto salads, add to sautéed vegetables – whole or chopped.
  • It is super easy to make into your own peanut butter by blending peanuts in a food processor, adding a little oil if needed. No added salt or sugar required – delicious!

 

Pecans

  • Pecans are fantastic in salads.
  • Perfect for making spiced nuts by adding cayenne pepper and rosemary leaves then baking.
  • I love using pecans in healthy baking.

 

Walnuts

  • Great with almost any salad – an easy way to add a dose of ALA omega 3!
  • Lovely addition to steamed green vegetable and perfect in healthy baking or as a snack.
  • Fantastic blended with dried fruit like dates to make healthy snacks – check out my ideas here >>.  You can really use any kind of nuts you have in to make these too!

 

Pine nuts

  • Can be thrown on a healthy homemade pizza or salad.
  • Ideal to grind and make sauces such as pesto.

 

Macadamia

  • Great in muesli or healthy desserts.
  • Delicious crushed and used to crumb fish before cooking.

 

Pistachios

  • Perfect tossed into salads.
  • Great with fruit based desserts.
  • Wonderful with brown rice dishes.

 

People often ask me which nuts are best?! Well…they all have their own unique benefits so my advice is to have a mixture!  Having previously been addicted to the salted variety, I have since adapted my taste buds to the raw unsalted versions. At first, I thought “these aren’t the nuts I am used to, they are awful and don’t taste of anything”, but that was purely because the salty hit was all I used to. Now though, I love raw unsalted nuts and would choose them over salted any day and that is all because my taste buds have adapted – I encourage you to do the same. You don’t need the extra salt and the taste of the nuts themselves (especially when they are fresh) is a winner.

 

*Ref – Health Benefits of Nut Consumption (2010) Nutrients. ISSN 2072-6643

**Ref – http://www.nutsforlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Nuts-for-life_Heart-report-2015.pdf

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