Nuts and seeds are one of nature’s finest gifts in the food kingdom. They are complete packages of nutrients classifying them as a meal all by themselves. They contain protein, healthy oils, vitamins and minerals. They are nutritious and combine well with many other foods.
Walnuts, coconuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds provide the top source of naturally occurring, unprocessed, healthy oils. These oils are best eaten raw to provide the most benefits to the human body. Heating any oil by roasting, toasting, or baking changes the composition from healthy oil into trans-fat. Trans-fats are carcinogenic and damaging to cell membranes of the body.
All nuts and seeds are high in minerals and vitamins which benefit the organs, glands, and tissues of the body. They offer a high content of calcium, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Almonds and hemp seeds are an excellent protein source and make great snacks for adults and kids.
Tips for eating nuts:
Walnuts, pecans, and almonds contain tannins on their outer skins which can irritate the digestive tract. They can be soaked for a few hours in water and rinsed to remove the tannins. Soaking will soften them and make them easier to digest. Soaking also begins the germination (sprouting) process and changes the nutrient content favorably, increasing the protein content and decreasing the fat content. Almonds can also be dropped into boiling water for 1 -2 minutes. When they cool, the skins with the tannins can be easily slipped off – the inner nut is soft and easier to digest. Be sure to chew well! All raw, unsoaked nuts and seeds are best digested when ground up in a coffee grinder and sprinkled onto food, such as a bowl of oatmeal, rice or on top of a salad.
Nut and Seed Butters:
Most store-bought nut and seed butters have been roasted and contain trans-fats. Select one that is raw or try making your own at home. If you have a Champion juicer you can make raw, home-made almond-coconut butter for a delicious treat!
Butters can be used on multi-grain bread or a piece of fruit for a wholesome snack. Tahini is a delicious sesame seed butter that is quite versatile. It can be mixed in a bowl with ground cumin seeds, lemon juice, water and salt to make a Middle-Eastern style dressing which can be used on salads, pasta, or vegetables. It can also be mixed in a bowl with honey, spread on parchment paper and put in the freezer to make halvah, a delicious natural candy.
Nut and Seed Milks:
There are many store-bought options for non-dairy milks including almond and hemp. Making your own at home is easy and provides a great alternative to dairy products.
Try this easy recipe for making your own cashew milk:
Cashew Milk Recipe
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 cups clean drinking water
Dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon raw honey
½ teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
Soak the cashews in water (to soften them) for 1 hour prior to making the recipe, then drain the soak water and rinse the cashews.
Add to the blender:
Soaked cashews and 2 cups clean drinking water; blend until smooth.
Add salt, honey, and vanilla to your taste preference and blend.
If you want thicker milk, use less water or more nuts. If you want thinner milk, add more water.
Store in refrigerator in covered jar and use within 2 days.
If you’d like more health tips, check out Samadhi’s book, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Healthy You.
Nuts, Nuts, Nuts!
Written by Samadhi Artemisa, Acupuncture Pysician
Published in Think Healthy Magazine
April 2011 Edition
Photos used in this blog post ©2013 Samadhi Artemisa, AP, owner of Injoyhealthcare. All rights reserved.
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