Nuts and seeds can provide tasty protein, dietary fiber and healthy fats to many meals and snacks. Here are a variety of ways you can add more of this nutritious powerhouse to your weekly eating.
Benefits of Nuts
- Healthy fats
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin E (helps skin)
- Improves blood cholesterol
- Improved blood pressure
- Helps with weight management
What About the Calories?
Nuts are calorie dense, which means you don’t need that much to fill and satisfy you. Read labels on jars and packages to learn how to create snacks and servings of approximately 150 calories. Learn how a small amount of nuts or nut butter and a companion (e.g., celery, yogurt, apple slices) will affect the final calorie count. Think about adding only one tablespoon and some honey to a single slice of bread for a filling sandwich to go with your soup.
Skip the Salad Croutons
Nuts add more protein, healthy fat and crunch to your salads, which will leave you more satisfied than if you just eat water-based veggies and toasted bread.
Add Them to Stir-frys
Nuts can change the texture of a stir-fry and reduce your need for beef, chicken, pork or seafood.
Try a New Nut Butter
Tired of or allergic to peanut butter? Make almond butter your next choice. If you like that, experiment with cashew and other nut butters. Beware of the sugar in Nutella, though.
Stir Nuts Into Yogurt
Many yogurts rely on sugar to take away the bitter taste. A few crushed nuts in more natural, low-sugar yogurts will make the snack less boring and more satisfying.
Bake Nuts Into Desserts
Muffins, brownies, cakes, pies and other baked desserts all taste great with nuts.
Mix Nuts Into Stews
Cashews or crushed walnuts add great flavor and more nutrition to meaty or vegetarian stews, chilis or curry dishes.
Serve With Roasts
Crunchy nuts cooked with roasted, savory pork, beef or chicken and the vegetables that have been cooked with them, add a unique aspect to roasts.
Top Fruits and Veggies
Spread some nut butter on apples, pears, celery or carrots for a quick, satisfying combination of protein and carbs.
You Can Drink Nuts
Don’t forget to add nuts to smoothies. You can include them when you start mixing the ingredients if you want to drink it with a straw, or add them toward the end if you want some crunch in a thicker, spoon-eaten drink.
Add Nuts to Pastas
Nuts are great way to replace greasy hamburger or sausage in a marinara sauce. Authentic pesto sauce requires pine nuts, but you can substitute any healthy nut for a delicious pasta topping. You can also skip the sauce and sprinkle in some crushed nuts into pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Make Snack Packs
Create your own 100- to 150-calorie snack packs using sandwich bags. Add dried fruit and/or some bits of chocolate for a trail mix.
Green Beans Amandine
What’s an easier way to jazz up a limp can or green beans than with some slivered almonds?
Fill out Soups
Keep a nut grinder on hand to let you turn nuts into a powder you add to your favorite low-fat (or any) soups for more body and flavor.
Buy Them Packaged
Keep a can of unsalted mixed nuts and individual snack packs you buy in grocery store around the house and in your desk at work.