Cooking Tips: The Heart Healthy Benefits of Nuts
Not that many people cook with nuts and most people view nuts as mere snacks or food that you pair with beer. While nuts are indeed a good snack choice, and they do partner well with beer, these are also great additions to your recipes. Not all nuts are created equal though, with some being healthier than others.
Some of the best nuts to add to your cooking include almonds, pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts. While technically a legume, peanuts are also seen as a great choice when it comes to healthy nuts that can be incorporated into your recipes. The healthiest nut by far in the choices that you have is the walnut since it has the most omega-3 fatty acids in it. A quarter cup of these nuts contains 2.7 grams of this heart-healthy substance.
Finding recipes that have nuts in them is not as difficult as you think. There are actually quite a lot of recipes that use nuts in them online and in recipe books. If you are thinking of improving your cooking skills, finding ways to add nuts to your cooking is a good move. Aside from the crunch that you will be adding to the dish texturally, you will also be giving your food a heart-healthy boost.
Nuts are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your body. Adding them to your daily meals can be somewhat challenging. However, there are ways that this can be done, even without having to dig for recipes to do so. Here are some ideas you might want to try:
• For a nutty and healthy breadcrumb coating on fish, poultry, or meat, crush or grind a handful of walnuts, pecans, or almonds and add this to your breadcrumbs. Use this combination to coat the outside of fish fillets, chicken breasts, or lamb chops before baking or frying them.
• Stir-frying vegetables with a handful of your favorite healthy nuts is also a great idea. In your wok, combine your favorite stir-fry vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, then toss in a half cup of almonds, cashews, or walnuts.
• Salads can also benefit from the added crunch and nutrients that nuts bring. Try adding different kinds of nuts to the salads that you create, and do not be scared to try new combinations. Pecans and apples mixed with greens and a healthy vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil is one good example.
• Whole nuts are not your only source of these heart-healthy nutrients. You can also try to add nut butter to your recipes for that added nutritional boost. There are a lot of nut butter for you to choose from, with the most commonly used ones being peanut butter and almond butter.
• If you are baking pies, cookies, and brownies, you should try adding in a cupful of your favorite nuts. Add whole hazelnuts to your chocolate chip cookies. Mix in a cup of cashews into your brownie mix and sprinkle chopped cashews on top before baking for good measure. Line the top of your pies with walnut halves or pecans for that tasty and healthy crunch.
These are just a few ideas that you can use to add in nuts to recipes that you love. Some types of cuisine use nuts more than others when it comes to main courses and desserts. Mediterranean and Asian cuisine are examples of these. If you want to ensure that your meals do have nuts in them in one form or another, try looking for recipes from Mediterranean and Asian cookbooks.
Just remember, nuts are more than just snacks and definitely more than just an accompaniment for your beer. These can be used to make dishes heart healthier and can add a different texture to these as well.
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