October 22nd National Nut Day

Before we go any further lets understand that peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes a member of the “pea” family. Okay, that done… the Liberation Food Company created today in the UK sometime in the early 2000’s. Nuts provide protein to your diet as well as fiber and are considered a healthy food. They contain vitamin E and B2 and are a good snack treat as well as an added flavor in many popular dishes. There are eleven kinds of nuts, each one promoted by the Fair Trade Organization in the UK. Apparently there are a lot of nuts in the UK!

How to celebrate – See how many types of nuts you can name. Determine what your favorite nut is. Try adding some kind of nut to your favorite food dish.

August 3rd Grab Some Nuts Day

No, it’s not what you think (shame on you – really?)!  The nut is possibly one of the most healthful foods you can munch on. Most contain linoleic acid, amino acids, vitamins E and B2, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, and antioxidants. Chances are, if it comes in a shell, and it’s not a taco, it’s a nut, which is actually a seed.

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Though the peanut is actually a legume, we won’t leave it out (baseball would never forgive us). Among the nut family are almonds, acorns, Brazil, cacao, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecans, pile, pine, pinon, pistachios, soy, sunflower, tiger, walnuts, and my cousin Vinnie – but I digress…

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While nuts are best for us served raw, they also come roasted, salted, seasoned, unsalted, and in every form of butter you can imagine. George Washington Carver, the Forest Gump of the peanut world, came up with hundreds of uses for nuts including plastics, paint, dyes, and gasoline.

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Different kinds of nuts grow all over the world and are a part of nearly every diet. My favorite is the macadamia from Hawaii. It is fabulous in it’s natural state but can also be covered in chocolate, dipped in ice cream, used to flavor a coffee creamer, and used in dishes that like to mix crunch into the blend. The same can be said for the hazelnut, as well as pecans, walnuts, and nearly every kind of nut variety.

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So grab your nuts and munch away… but remember to take small bites and make them last longer.

How to celebrate – Buy a can of mixed nuts and sample a variety for yourself. Make sure you are not allergic to the type of nuts you are eating. Most allergies seem to be in the legume family but can vary. Find different dishes you can include nuts in.