Vegetarian Month:
Go Nuts

Halloween is a good day to remember a favorite treat that’s good for you: nuts.

Strictly speaking, nuts grow on trees, contain no more than two seeds in each shell, move freely within the shell, and do not open on their own. Some food that we call “nuts” are really legumes. The most popular example is peanuts.

Here are some fun facts about peanuts:

  • Americans eat more than 1.5 million pounds of peanut butter and peanut products (like candy and trail mix) each year.
  • It takes approximately 540 peanuts to make 12 ounces of peanut butter.
  • Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

What’s in Nuts?

Nuts are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, copper, potassium and arginine. That gives them antioxidant properties that help prevent heart disease. They have a high fat content, but it is mostly monounsaturated fat. In moderation, that’s the good kind of fat—so watch portion sizes (one ounce is a serving).

Fun ways to include them to meals are:

  • Stir fry with peanuts or cashews.
  • Add slivered almonds to oatmeal or yogurt
  • Cook salmon with a pecan crust.
  • Bake banana bread or zucchini bread with walnuts and almonds.
  • Jazz up celery or carrot sticks with a little almond butter or peanut butter.
  • Add them to a home-made trail mix with dried fruit and crunchy cereal.
  • Mix walnuts into your salad.

To wrap up World Vegetarian Month and National Nut Month, get creative and come up with ways to add legumes, grains, nuts, and vegetables to every meal.

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