Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oh, Nuts!

I freely confess that I'm a nut junkie. Nuts are the perfect low-carb snack. They are a natural product, minimally processed and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, heart-healthy fats and protein. In the late afternoon, when I'm feeling a bit hungry but dinner is a couple of hours away, I very often turn to a serving of nuts to keep me going. Portion control is important because these little gems are a dense, energy-packed food and not particularly low in calories. Usually, only ¼ cup or less is considered a serving (read the nutrition label). It's best to measure your snack into a separate bowl, instead of reaching into the bag or jar, to prevent mindless overeating. I have purchased a set of attractive, small serving dishes that hold just the right amount. This special touch makes what might be considered a boring snack a lot more fun!

Now, there are plain nuts and then there are fancy nuts! Ordinary nuts in their natural, unaltered state are excellent. But, some might say, they aren't very exciting and I agree. Luckily, nuts are becoming so popular as a snack idea, that some companies have gone out of their way to create interesting mixes, flavors and unique combinations that get me so excited, I squeal with joy when I find them! Here are some of my favorites:

Sahale Snacks: I love their Almond PBJ and Glazed Cashews with Pomegranate and Vanilla! But they also have some very interesting spicy varieties, too.

Emerald Nuts: I sometimes have their Cocoa Roast Almonds for dessert, they are so good!

True North: They have such a wide variety, it's hard to choose a favorite. Their Almond or Pistachio Crisps are a cross between a cracker and a chip. The Nut Clusters are like little chunks of candy. No wait... I love them all!

Look for these delicious, healthy nut snacks in your grocery store, at Target (True North & Emerald) or online. All of their websites, which are linked above, have convenient store locator functions to find a store near you. Go nuts!

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