I only discovered nuts as a regular part of my daily intake around 2-3 years ago. Prior to this the extent of my knowledge of nuts was a beer and a packet of peanuts. (and they aren’t even nuts!) Nuts contain a wealth of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre. They also provide an abundance of slow release energy. They are satisfying without being too filling and are great as a pre and post workout snack.
There are a few basic rules around nuts. Raw organic are by far the number one choice. A bit pricey maybe but so worth it for the packed nutritional value and your body won’t have to fight against the addition of chemicals, oils etc to get to the nutrients. You only need a handful a day to provide you with the huge benefits of these little fellas. Always soak your nuts as they can irritate your gut. I soak mine overnight rinse and enjoy. If you want to soak batches to keep then you will need to dry completely before storing.
The health benefits of nuts is vast.
Nuts can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff), they may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts -These are rich in omega 3,6 and 9 and are fabulous for brain health and mood stabilisation. Be sure to soak these overnight in fresh filtered water as they can be an irritant on the gut and remember just a handful are needed to get the full value of nutrition.
Brazil Nuts – full of selenium, help fight inflammation.
Hazelnuts – great for skin, bones (calcium content), rich in magnesium.
Pecans- great for fibre content and full of antioxidants
Almonds (seed) – one of my personal favourites, can lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, contain Vitamin E and magnesium
Pistachios – good for gut bacteria, contain vitamin B6, potassium and full of antioxidants
Macadamias- contain potassium, selenium, zinc,B6 and iron.
These are just a few benefits the list goes on. What I love about nuts is they are small but packed with goodness and are so versatile. Eat them on their own as a snack, throw them on a smoothie bowl, or on a salad, make milks, or nut butters.
One of my favourites is Almond milk its so simple to make and can be used in sauces, smoothies, as a hot or cold drink, makes beautiful creamy milk for coffee.
Below are recipes for almond and cashew milk. Cashews are technically not a nut but make a fabulous alternative to dairy milk.
Almond Milk Recipe
I cup almond soaked overnight. In fresh filtered water
4-6 cups of fresh filtered water
Rinse off the Almonds
Blend Almonds and filtered water in a high speed blender until fully ground down.
Squeeze through a nut bag
Store in clean bottles on the fridge.
Don’t make too much at a time as its best fresh and only lasts a few days.
The left over almond I dehydrate in my oven and grind down to make almond meal. (I hate waste).
Cashew Milk recipe
I cup raw organic cashews soaked overnight
3-4 cups of fresh filtered water
Rinse off the cashews and blend in a high speed blender with the filtered water until fully ground down. It isn’t necessary to put through a nut bag. Just store in a clean bottle in the fridge.
This is great for making pasta sauce. Just substitute your usual milk with cashew milk and you’ll never look back.
We no longer use any dairy milks in our house after discovering these delicious alternatives.
Deb’s Tip – I want to share with you as I go along how I made changes from my standard (and what I thought was pretty healthy) daily intake to where I am now. BTW I never count calories or use weighing scales, why would I need to look at a number to know how I feel?
So I introduced nuts fairly early on in my health journey. I had a lot of people say nuts make you fat they are not healthy etc. etc. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As I said before you don’t need many and they help to stabilise blood sugar levels. This was amazing for me as I was known to be one hangry mumma when it got to lunchtime! A few nuts mid-morning or even on your breakfast will keep you going a long time It is never good to get to a point where you are starving hungry before you eat as you are likely to grab something high in sugar as this is what your brain is crying out for. By eating good, nutrition dense food your body will be busy optimising those nutrients while you feel energised and ready for anything. As well as feeling physically fitter you will feel mentally more alert and less moody and anxious when your body is getting what it needs. It can take a few days if you tend to snack on sugary processed foods for your blood sugar levels to settle. But WOW what a difference you will feel when they do.
Enjoy and drop me a line with any questions
Deb (the Organic Nut) xx