Be Nutty (But Just a Little)
Crunchy nuts are petite powerhouses of taste and nutrition. They’re portable and delicious; both whole and in nut butter form, spread on apple slices, celery sticks and bananas. Nuts have protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Walnuts are especially high in omega- 3 fatty acids, the same heart-healthy fat found in oily fish, but are a lot easier to stash in your pocket or purse.
The American Heart Association recommends eating 4 servings of unsalted, unoiled nuts a week. Nutrient-rich nuts are also high in calories, so don’t eat too many if you’re watching your weight. A serving size is a small handful or 1.5 ounces of whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter. In addition to their superior snackability, nuts are fabulous in salads, stir-fries, muffins, and stirred into yogurt. Or, try some nut butter in a smoothie!
All nuts will go rancid (oxidize) in time so buy them in small quantities and keep them in the fridge. The same goes for nut oils and nut butters in jars after you’ve opened them. Rancid nuts have an unpleasant smell and bitter taste. If you’re using nuts in a recipe, taste one to make sure it’s still fresh or you could ruin the whole dish.
Article copyright © 2011 American Heart Association. This article is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.