Some suggestions for adding variety and nutrition to meals with raw nuts.
By now most people know that nuts have health benefits. Although the advantages are different depending on which nuts you eat, nuts are generally low in cholesterol and high in protein, fiber and “good” fats. They also contain essential nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium and anti-oxidants (to name only a few). What some people may not realize is that roasted nuts may lose nutritional value during roasting. Raw nuts, therefore, are better if you choose to eat nuts for their health benefits.
If we’re honest, many of us will admit that we don’t always enjoy eating what’s good for our health. We think many nutrient-rich foods are poor in taste. Some people love raw nuts, but others find them boring and tasteless. Without the roasting or a coating, many people simply don’t enjoy the taste of raw nuts.
These people may feel they’re in a bind. They want to eat raw nuts for health, but they also want to enjoy their food. For those people, there are tasty solutions to end the dilemma.
First thing in the morning can be a great time to add raw nuts to your meal. You can eat a handful whole, but other ways to incorporate them into the most important meal of the day will add variety to your morning. You can add finely chopped raw nuts to breakfast foods you may already eat: cereal, a fruit salad, a cup of yogurt or a yogurt smoothie. You can add them to baking too; homemade muffins or granola bars start the day deliciously—and you can carry some to work for later. Ambitious kitchen magicians can even make nut butters for their morning toast or bagels. Peanut and almond are the most popular nut butters, but almost any nut can be blended into a spread.
Many people suffer from a post-lunch slump. Why not liven up lunch with raw nuts for an energy boost? Toss some on your salad instead of croutons, mix some into your tuna or chicken salad sandwich, sprinkle some on a pasta dish for extra crunch. The only limit to the ways you can use them at lunch time is your creativity.
Dinner can be hard for some people to prepare. Drained from a busy work day, they are out of great ideas for adding spark to basic meals. Raw nuts can help here too. These suggestions can be prepared ahead of time and then, when you get home exhausted, you can throw together a quick yet tempting meal.
Try these ideas: keep a jar of crushed raw nuts to use instead of breadcrumbs as a coating for chicken or as a mixer in your meatloaf or meatballs, make homemade pesto sauce with raw nuts for pasta or meat dishes or throw some into homemade salad dressing to change the flavor.
Raw nuts can compliment any meal. All you need is determination and imagination. One final tip is to use different nuts for the above ideas. For example, one week add almonds to your salad dressing; the next week switch it up and add pecans instead. In this way, the possibilities are endless.