I do a lot of munching throughout the day… and almost every day, I eat about 1-2 handfuls of nuts. Typically for a snack, but if I missed out on them I like to add them to a main dish.
Here are a list of my favorite nuts and the benefits (click the underlined link to take you to the livestrong.com website for more information) of each:
Almonds- one of the most nutritious nuts out there! Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fat and antioxidants. Around 2-3pm I typically feel drained of energy, so I like to keep a handful or two in my purse to munch on for an energy boost. I also like to add them to ice-cream, oven-baked bread, or smoothies for a nice crunch. When I buy them raw, I like to cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350F to take the bitterness away and dry them up a little.
Cashews- Rich in dietary fiber and heart healthy monosaturated fats. I typically add cashews to a salad, or entree for the extra crunch, salt, and flavor.
Pistachios- These suckers are high in calories and fat, so you only need a little to get the benefits. They act as an antioxidant. I like to eat these because I like to crack them myself, giving me something to do rather than just popping them in my mouth- it keeps me aware of how much I’m actually eating!
Brazil Nuts- Did you know these are actually a fruit? A fruit of the tree in the Amazon. And they are mainly harvested in Bolivia! Brazil also, but Bolivia holds the largest harvest percentage. These babies are high in protein! And unfortunately, they are high in saturated fat.. but they do contain a lot of unsaturated fat as well. I’ve never bought a bag of Brazil nuts, but when I see them in a nut mix.. they are the first I grab.
Hazelnuts- Hellloo Vitamin E! These sweet flavored nuts are high in vitamins and minerals… like Vitamin E. Again, I usually pick this out with the Brazil nuts in a mixed nut assortment. Also, I love hazelnut flavored anything.. coffee, creamer, etc.
Walnuts- A great plant based source of omega 3 fats. I like to add walnut to salads especially, but they also make great bread crunchers, dip toppings, or . They are also great caramelized! Not to mention, they’re fun to crack yourself.