Nutty Suggestions

July 19, 2010 in Appetizers/Snacks by Joyce Bunderson

Portion control is really an important issue as related to nuts. They’re terrific and healthy, but having a jar right next to your hand could result in an oversized snack half-cup (357 – 400 calories) or a cup (750 – 800 calories) before you realize what happened. So I suggest that you make a personal rule to put the nuts into an individual container/dish to help stay within your calorie limits – dish up the amount you intend to consume.

Other suggestions are:

  • Check the label to see how much salt is included. See A Pinch of Salt Can Do the Job, posted March 1, 2010.
  • Little dish – weigh ounce (or whatever portion you want to eat) carefully look at how much that is in your little dish; then use that dish to help you control the portion each time you want nuts.
  • Although peanuts are technically legumes (beans) we treat them like tree nuts because they have a comparable amount of fat and calories. Peanut butter is a great low cost meat replacement. I suggest the natural peanut butter, rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. If you stir it and keep it in the refrigerator, it won’t need to be stirred too frequently.
  • If you’re away from home where your little nut cups are stored, try Emerald or Blue Diamond's 100-calorie packs (they contain 2/3 ounce).
  • Don’t worry about whether your nut snack is dry-roasted or oil-roasted. Nuts are so high in fat that it doesn’t really matter enough to worry about.
  • Make little snack-sized packets with those small zip locks – you control the size, and are not tempted to keep eating right out of the jar or can.
  • Try sprinkling and stirring in nuts into Greek Yogurt with a touch of erythritol to sweeten it.
  • Toasting nuts is easy. I find it easiest just to put them in a non-stick skillet and swirl them every minute or so. I sometimes do it in the oven, if the oven’s already heated up. Otherwise toast them in a skillet on the stovetop. Unlike the oven, you don’t need to keep opening it to check– Your nutty goodies are turning just the right shade of toastiness and aroma right in front of you.
  • When I compare a handful of nuts with some of the common snacks of today I’ll pick nuts (no empty calories from sugar and white flour, as in crackers and cookies; no hydrogenated fats, including bad-bad trans fats from potato chips and their cousins; no sugar, high fructose corn syrup or the like from candy bars and energy bars, not to mention the saturated and trans fat again.