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Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

What if I were to tell you that people who ate nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than people who didn’t eat nuts? Well according to researchers it’s true! So stock up on these feel good favorites for the season ahead including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.

Nuts make a pretty awesome snack. They are bite-sized, nutrient-dense, convenient, crunchy and delicious, but it doesn’t stop there. They have many other uses in the kitchen. Give one of these ideas a try:

  • Crush them and add to coating for fish, chicken or pork
  • Scatter them on anything and everything from oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, salads, stir fries, and ice cream sundaes
  • Mix them into store bought or homemade granola
  • Stir them into muffin and bread batters
  • Chop and add them to crisp or crumble toppings
  • Include them in homemade energy bite recipes

But before you toss them in a dish, toast them! All of the above suggestions will take on even more flavor if you toast the nuts first. Toasting makes them more fragrant and flavorful.

  • Oven toasting: Preheat oven to 350⁰ Spread nuts in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for ~10 minutes, stirring once. Remove nuts from the oven and transfer to a bowl or plate to cool.
  • Skillet toasting: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. You do not need to add oil or cooking spray to the skillet. Toast the nuts in a single layer, stirring frequently, until they start to become fragrant, about 5-8 minutes.

Nuts can burn very quickly, so stay near the stove while toasting. Once cooled, store toasted nuts in an airtight container and use within a week for the best flavor.

Tips for Storing

Because of their high oil content, nuts are prone to going rancid when stored for a long period of time at room temperature. If you won’t be consuming them within a few months, consider storing them in the freezer in an airtight container.

And don’t forget about seeds! Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds are also sources of healthy fats.

If you love snacking on nuts but want to add a little more flavor, try these tasty recipes for Cinnamon Glazed Almonds and Toasted Rosemary and Sea Salt Walnuts.

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Toasted Rosemary and Sea Salt Walnuts

Sources: https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/why-nutritionists-are-crazy-about-nuts

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