Another World Cup is here, which means a number of you will be getting organized to watch the games with family and friends (or rivals 😉), with an assortment of snacks ready to be served. But are nuts and dried fruits in that mix? We hope so, and if not read on to discover why you need nuts and dried fruits on the table plus, some mouth-watering healthy snack ideas to impress your guests (and yourself!).
Why snack on nuts?
Whether you’re cheering on your team, screaming at the referee, or jumping up and down for joy, nuts will keep you going throughout the lot. Why you ask? Nuts are energy-dense foods packed with vitamins and minerals, therefore, adding them to your World Cup snack repertoire will give your body some of the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs to get it through the match. Plus, when the tournament is over, getting into the habit of adding nuts into your daily diet has been associated with many other health benefits such as cardiovascular disease, preventing ageing and helping cognitive decline, gut health and many more.
Why snack on dried fruit?
One of the main characteristics of dried fruit is that it has a low to moderate glycaemic index (GI) and therefore could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which was shown in a recent study. Also, the fact that it is naturally sweet could curb those cravings for other not-so-nutritious “sweet” snacks!
Plus, apart from the significant health benefits which are not to be taken lightly, nuts and dried fruits are both seriously delicious and also very versatile, which brings us to our next points.
How to eat nuts and dried fruit?
Nuts can be eaten in many different ways, shapes and forms! In-shell or out-of-shell, depending on your preference, you can blend them up into nut butters, enjoy them whole, natural, roasted, or spiced, chop them up and sprinkle on food. Plus, dried fruit can be eaten naturally or as a sweetener in many quick snacks and desserts. Both can also be used as essential ingredients in many dishes. However, for the purpose of this article, let’s look at some different, yet simple, snack ideas to please the crowds.
Muhammara dip with walnuts and pine nuts
Made with walnuts and pine nuts, this fresh and vibrant Muhammara dip is inspired by Middle Eastern flavours, very apt considering this year’s host. It’s smoky, sweet and slightly spicy with Aleppo chilli, perfect to share served with toasted pitta bread or bread sticks.
Carrot cake energy balls with walnuts and raisins
Ready in about 30 mins, this recipe combines a mixture of carrots, apples and ginger combined with ground mixed spice and walnuts for a flavour similar to carrot cake. They’re naturally sweetened with the fruit pulp, raisins and dates and high in fibre, to keep you on the move.
Spiced nut & dried fruit trail mix
Using a mix of hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and dried cranberries or prunes this recipe is a true hit of nutrients. Tumbled with spices, the key to this recipe is toasting the nuts well, to really bring out the rich, nutty flavours which, you can do in a dry pan over a medium heat, or in a preheated oven like we have.
For more ideas go over to our healthy recipes.