You’re busy, on-the-run and sometimes stressed to the max. You want a quick, convenient, healthy snack that tastes great and keeps you on track without adding to the complications of your life. Look no farther…here are 3 fast & fresh ways enjoy one of nature’s most perfect foods – the NUT!
But first, why nuts?
The numerous benefits of nuts include (but are not limited to):
- High fiber (2-5g per serving)
- Great source of healthy fats
- Walnuts are one of the only plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- Solid protein hit (5-8g per serving)
- Boost immune system with magnesium, and Vitamins B & E
- Improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Reduce stress & improve mood – 2 servings of cashew elevate mood as much as common antidepressants
- Protect against cancer
- Prevent cognitive decline with aging
- Low carb food, so they keep insulin low – great for diabetics, and ANYONE looking to reduce body fat
3 EASY RECIPES FOR YOU
Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
This recipe was inspired by our January 2014 Athlete of The Month Ronald Robinson. During his climb to the top, Officer Robinson picked up a new habit of eating dark chocolate covered almonds throughout the day to help increase his calories, his healthy fats, and get some extra protein. He brought them in one night, and I was surprised to learn these almonds were cocoa dusted – not the candy-coated chocolate I had imagined. I was impressed! We read the ingredients and made a few tweaks to cut the added sugars.
- 1 16oz can or package raw almonds
- 5-6 TBSP 100% cocoa powder (more or less depending on your taste preference)
- 1-3 packets Stevia (amount depends on your taste)
- 1 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in an air-tight bag or container and shake to thoroughly mix and coat the nuts.
Spicy Roasted Nuts
One of the first books I ever bought was Greg Avedon’s Muscle Chow. Known as THE Men’s Heath cover-guy, Greg’s recipes were all about building muscle and staying as close to cover-photo-ready as possible. That’s where this recipe came from, so we don’t need to make any changes – and you know it’ll help you cure cravings while winning the battle of the bulge!
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (I use more)
Preheat oven to 300F and combine just the nuts in a large bowl. Slowly add the oil, tossing the nuts to mix and coat. COmbine all the spices in a small bowl and then add the spice mix to the nuts, making sure to mix thoroughly to spread the flavor. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes while you watch football, basketball, or the Olympics. Make sure to stir occassionaly to prevent burning. Once these cool, portion them out into 20 ziploc bags (1/4 C per serving) so you can practice portion control!
Faster Paleo Roasted Nuts
Don’t have 30-40 minutes to roast in the oven? Try this quicker, stove-top version.
- 2/3 C almonds
- 2/3 C pecans
- 2/3 C walnuts
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 TBSP olive oil (try coconut oil for a change up)
Use a cast-iron skillet and toast the nuts over medium heat. Combine the spices in a small bowl. When the nuts are lightly brown, remove them from the heat, and mix with oil and spices making sure to coat evenly. Enjoy!