Add Nuts to add Nutrients

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

By Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, CDE SUPERVALU Dietitian

Recently, we talked about adding nuts to salads for crunch as a heart smarter option than traditional high fat croutons. This week, we are going to continue talking about nuts because they can be a great addition to the holiday table or make a great hostess gift (remember to be mindful of any friends or family with allergies). They can also be added in small quantities to supply a big nutritional bonus to dishes.

Nuts are packed with nutrition, but it’s not necessary to overindulge. Although nuts are great for protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals, they also contain a good amount of heart smart fat, making portion control important. In fact, a ½ ounce of nuts is considered a serving from the protein group. This is about 12 almonds or 7 walnut halves. To help keep portions under control, think of nuts as a compliment to a snack or dish versus making them the main feature. Sprinkle a few nuts on oatmeal, mix with cereal and dried fruit for an on the go snack, or toast them to “pop” the flavor to garnish casseroles, salads, and soups. Remember, a balanced diet with a mix of choices from within each food group will help ensure a delightful menu as well as a blend of nutrients needed by the body to assist in maintaining good health and supporting activities.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

Spiced Pecans

This recipe for spiced pecans can be used to add spice to just about dish. Try adding to salads with a cider vinaigrette or sprinkle on top of your favorite grains.

Makes 4 cups
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ cup butter, melted
4 cups pecans, or any other nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, blend the brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, and red pepper.

Pour in the melted butter and stir. Add the nuts and toss to coat them evenly.

Spread the seasoned nuts out on a baking sheet, and roast them for 15 minutes.

Your nose will tell you when they are done! Serve immediately, or let cool and store in a jar for later.

Recipe courtesy of The Oldways Table on behalf of the Latino Nutrition Coalition

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Until next time!

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