Summer time implies some minor changes in our daily habits. Menus, schedules and routines are somewhat altered by this wonderful season called summer.
Nuts in summer result in a lovely and healthy choice fitting easily into each and every context.
Nuts in summer, such as almonds, Amazonia (Brazil) nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts, may help reduce the risk for chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes. Most of the fat present in nuts is unsaturated or ‘good’ fat (i.e., mono- and polyunsaturated fats).
Nuts have important nutrients, including protein, fiber and phytochemicals. They are also a great source of vitamins such as folic acid, niacin and vitamins E and B6, and minerals like magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.
Just a handful (or one ounce) of nuts per day can provide you with these nutritional benefits. Here you have some easy, healthy and delicious ways to mix and match your favorite nuts with any food. Try them and go nuts!
Nuts in Summer: Breakfast
Sprinkle chopped nuts on yogurt, hot or cold cereal, or in cream cheese spreads for bagels. Add chopped macadamias or pistachios to your favorite bread, pancake, waffle or muffin recipe.
Pine nuts have always been the secret ingredient to a tasty pesto, but other nuts can also add flavor. Sprinkled on top or mixed in with a sauce, nuts give a special flair to any pasta dish. Fettuccini with toasted walnuts is always a hit.
Sprinkle chopped nuts on a bowl of soup for added flavor and texture. For example, garnish potato soup with minced pecans or a hearty split pea with hazelnuts.
Nuts in summer are perfect as a tasty snack between meals, and research has shown that they may keep you full longer. For better portion control, divide your favorite nuts into 1-handful portions and store them in individual bags. This way, you can simply grab a bag of nuts on your way out the door, or keep several bags on hand in the car or in your desk, for easy snacking.
Nutty vinaigrettes made with chopped hazelnuts or Brazil nuts add flavor to steamed vegetables… even the pickiest of eaters may give them a try!
Toss finely diced, toasted almonds into a ginger shrimp sauté or add toasted cashews to Chinese vegetable stir-fry dishes. Sprinkle chopped mixed nuts on your favorite casseroles.
Top softened Brie or Camembert cheese with chopped pistachios for a simple, elegant treat. Add your favorite nut to any cheese and cracker platter, or simply serve them straight up in a festive bowl!
Restaurants often serve creative salads with various nuts and dried fruits. Do the same at home by adding whole, sliced or chopped nuts to your favorite salad recipes. For instance, toss pecans and/or walnuts with blue cheese or Gorgonzola to add zip to a spinach salad; or garnish chicken salad with slivered almonds.
Nuts are wonderful in baked goods such as cookies, cakes and brownies, but you can also sprinkle them on top of ice cream, frozen yogurt and parfaits.
Toss chopped macadamias and other nuts with fresh fruit for a light and tasty dessert.