Go nuts for National Nut Day
No one can honestly explain the satisfying feeling of spotting a peanut man on the road or in traffic while you are hungry. How about filling a gap with a quick nutty snack from the tuck shop? Ringing true for you as yet? Maybe you prefer your nuts as a wonderful addition to salads, pastries, ice cream cones and sundaes, paired with dried fruits, blended into your smoothies or integrated into your favourite brand of chocolate.
It’s National Nuts Day in the United States and we’re honouring the occasion by sharing nutty food facts and delightful variations for snacking or cooking.
A HEALTHY DEBATE
There had been talks about whether or not nuts are good for you. The argument has even gone further to highlight the breakdown for each nut with cashews coming out as having more calories than almonds. But nuts overall are pretty healthy for you.
Packed with fibre, protein, unsaturated fat and omega-3s, they keep you full for long time frames in-between meals. How’s that for quicker picker-upper?
The nut family also plays an integral role in your body’s defence mechanism, like preventing blood clots, lowering cholesterol and helping with your arteries. So consuming nuts can save you, in more ways than one.
And there are many to choose from – from the hard crunch of walnuts, peanuts, almond and hazelnuts to softer chew of cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts and more.
Here are a few fun facts about them:
• Peanut, internationally, is flavourful among the youth and the young at heart in the famous peanut butter. But locally, the popular nut has been found to make a mean punch, stir up the flavour in porridge and create wonders in soups – the proof is the automatic ‘hmm!’.
• Two members of the nuthouse aren’t nuts. Crazy, right? Pistachios are fruits and peanuts are considered legumes.
• Walnut is the father of all nuts. It has roamed the earth for many years, so let’s give it the respect it so rightfully deserves.
• Although cashew is soft, it’s shell is hard. The shell is also poisonous and should not be consumed. Indians have added the nut in preparing their curried favourites. Peanuts, among others, have also been used in these culinary pursuits.
• Pistachio, which is one of the chosen few to be an ice cream flavour, is closely associated with being elated in other countries like China and Iran. That certainly explains the excitement many can’t contain when devouring this nut in numbers.
• Macadamia nuts go on the record for having the most hardened shell. The nut is only gathered once they’re dropped from the tree – there’s no picking.
• Almonds thrive on really hot or cool conditions to grow. Ever pounded an almond out of its shell? It is the most gratifying accomplishment. Also, we’ve heard where there’s honey, there are bees. That’s also the case when it comes to almonds – who knew?
• Fibre alert. Hazelnuts contain vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and more. Its employment in the culinary world includes in salads, desserts, and savoury dishes like pasta and meats, fish as well.