Once the stuff of kindergarten classroom nightmares, nuts—unless you are indeed allergic—aren’t so scary anymore. In fact, they’re super. Well, a superfood. (I’ve yet to meet a teleporting peanut that can take down evil villain overlords.) And despite their small size, they pack a nutritional punch. A single serving, a ¼ cup, on a daily basis may help lower your risk of heart disease. They’re a source of good fats—yes, fat won’t kill you—and contain protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you choose to consume them in their naked form, stick to unsalted, dry-roasted varieties to avoid unnecessary additional salt and fat—bad fats that is. However, with a little embellishment, they can dress-up a salad, soup, yogurt or even dessert. Here are my three favourite nut recipes. Part of the nut’s beauty is its flexibility, so in the case of each recipe, experiment with substituting different nuts or nut butters in place of the original.
Cripsy Pangritata (adapted from Jamie’s Festive Feast)
2 slices of bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 sprig of rosemary or thyme, leaves picked
5 walnuts, shelled
- Lightly toast the bread. Blitz in a food processor with the garlic, herbs and walnuts.
- Pre-heat a frying pan over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add the bread mixture. Fry, stirring regularly, for approximately five minutes or until golden and crisp. Sprinkle over your favourite pasta dish.
Curry Coconut Savoury Granola (adapted from thekitchin.com)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
½ cup raw pepitas
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsps Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup canola or virgin coconut oil, in the case of the latter, melted
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, pecans, pepitas, coconut, curry powder, salt, onion and garlic powders in a large bowl.
- Drizzle Worcesterchire sauce and oil over oat mixture. If using coconut oil, stir quickly to coat oats before the oil stiffens.
- Spread in a single layer on sheet pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes for the first 20 minutes and every five until the granola is lightly browned and slightly crisp.
- Leave to cool at room temperature and store in an airtight container for two weeks or freeze for several months.
Super-Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (from kraftcanada.com)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Mix all the ingredients with a large spoon until blended. (Tip: When measuring out nut butters, oil your measuring cup beforehand.)
- Roll mixture into 24 balls and arrange on sheet pan, leaving four inches between each ball and flattening with a fork.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat as necessary until all 24 balls are baked.