Paring Nuts With Foods

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Nuts-PictureParing Nuts With Foods 

Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the much talked about omega-3 fatty acids. Crunchy yet buttery, nuts are a delicious and healthy addition to our daily diet. 

  • Nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty (MUF) acids which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. 

One way I use nuts in my daily diet is to mix them with some dried fruits and have them as an afternoon snack. This helps off-set the 3pm blues (usually caused by a low blood sugar). 

Whether they’re whole, chopped, or ground, nuts add nutrition and flavor to meals and dishes and are also a great source of protein. 

Nut varieties include almond, brazil, cashew, chestnut, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine, pistachio, and walnut. Most varieties can be bought whole, chopped, or ground; salted or unsalted; roasted or spiced. Generally, whole, unshelled nuts are the least expensive. 

Most unshelled nuts will keep at room temperature for up to six months, but shelled nuts should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them from becoming rancid. Throw out any that have mold. 

To remove thin skins, place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until the skins begin to flake off. This will vary with the variety. Nuts can easily burn, so watch them closely. Remove them from the oven, wrap them in a heavy towel, and rub them against the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. 

To grind nuts, use a nut grater or grinder and grind only a few nuts at a time to prevent them from becoming oily. 

To Toast Nuts 

Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Nuts and Matches 


Benefits They’re low in carbs but high in monounsaturated fats, which protect the heart.

Flavour match Plums, ginger, lemon, chocolate. 


Benefits High in potassium, protein and iron.

Flavour match Trout, lamb, apricots, figs, citrus fruit, honey and mint. 


Benefits One of the richest sources of selenium, which protects against prostate cancer. 
Flavour match Chocolate, bananas, dried fruit. 


Benefits Full of mono-unsaturated fats, which reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. 

Flavour match Chicken, pork, bananas, honey. 


Benefits Rich in vitamin E, potassium and manganese. Lower in fat than many other nuts.

Flavour match Apples, mushrooms, raspberries. 


Benefits Almost no fat, plenty of energy-boosting B vitamins and vitamin C. 

Flavour match Roast meat, red wine sauces. 


Benefits Polyunsaturated fat, preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Flavour match Figs, Roquefort cheese, goats’ cheese, coffee. 


Benefits Most calcium of all nuts and more protein, gram for gram, than eggs. 

Flavour match Apples, pears, apricots, ice cream, trout. 


Benefits High in zinc and in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.

Flavour match Pears, maple syrup, apples, chocolate, figs, ginger. 

Pine Nuts 

Benefits Rich in protein and manganese, which helps break down fat.

Flavour match Spinach, Mediterranean veg, basil, feta cheese, lamb, pork.

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