Eat Better for Body and Budget: Aw, Nuts!

almondsIn my quest for better protein and nutrients, I’ve expanded my view of nuts.  I could take the Gump-ish approach:  peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, etc.  But I went to my sources and landed on almonds.

Almonds are readily available, relatively reasonably priced, come in a variety of preparations, and are yummy!  I eat almonds whole as part of a snack or meal.  I keep sliced and slivered almonds in the freezer, just so the oils don’t go rancid fast.  I have used almond flour in Christmas baking, but ground it myself in the food processor — I do know Trader Joe’s carries almond flour, but I think that’s seasonal.  There are also coupons for various brands of almonds in late spring, usually, which make them very affordable.

The most interesting form of almonds, to me, is almond butter.  Lately I’ve been grinding my own at Baker’s.  I love the flavor, and the hefty texture of almond butter, which also helps me eat less.  At $6.99/#, it’s certainly a treat, but I’m not sure I’ll be eating a lot of peanut butter anymore, since I found out more facts.  Peanuts, and particularly peanut butter, are legumes, which create acidity in the body, and they contain alfatoxins, which if ingested often and regularly over time could cause liver cancer.  I’ve cautioned my PB-loving  son to cut way back.

Earth Balance makes a commercial, creamy “natural” almond butter, but I have not tried it yet.  Have you?

In fairness to English walnuts, they are a secret passion of mine.  I love the creamy, almost buttery flavor and texture of them.  Ground and mixed with rolled oats, they make a great dessert crust.  Chopped, they go great in salads or as toppings.  And whole, well, who can afford whole?  They are simply very seasonal and very expensive, so right now a truly decadent treat.

I’ve also discovered sunflower seeds (not really a nut, I know), but have yet to find organics that are not in a “mix.”

What is your favorite nut, and how do you like it best?

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