Just a few more days until Christmas and I am sure, by now, we have done our share of socializing and indulging in cookies and chocolate and all kinds of homemade goodies. It’s almost a given that we will be putting on a few pounds for the sake of enjoying the Holidays. Snacking on nuts while having a glass of ‘cheer’ is a very popular activity at this time. And nuts seem to be the easiest to serve.
Nuts are a hugely diverse group of foods available all over the world and used in so many ways from snacks to desserts and also for making pestos. Most nuts contain healthy fats and are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their benefits differ depending on the type of nut consumed but it is safe to say that a diet which includes nuts can be very beneficial on so many levels.
My mom used to say that too much of anything is never good… in other words, everything in moderation. This is especially true for nuts. As nutritious as they are, they do contain a lot of dietary protein which can lead to elevated blood sugar, weight gain, kidney stress, loss of bone minerals, and stimulation of cancer cells (What Are the Best Nuts and Seeds?, 1997-2016).
Roasted and highly salted nuts are readily available in all the grocery stores. They all contain too much salt and you never know how the nuts were roasted! Try to select dry-roasted and unsalted ones. I believe that control over the amount of salt (and sugar) added to food is critical for good health. I think you know by now that I encourage preparing food at home and that my primary goal in this life is to inspire at least one person to take on the task of mindful cooking and eating. This time of year brings out the sweet tooth in all of us but at least, when preparing these delicious mixed nuts to snack on, you are in control!
What you need:
4 cups of unsalted mixed nuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
juice of 1 lime
zest of 1 lime
salt to taste
Dissolve the sugar in water and lime juice in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes until it reduces slightly. Remove from heat.
Place the mixed nuts into a large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over them, add the lime zest and toss to coat evenly. Spread the nuts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Add a bit of salt to them and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees.
It is extremely important to keep an eye on them while they are baking. Sugar burns without notice! You can stir them occasionally to make sure they are all coated nicely. They will crisp up after they have cooled.
So there you have it. Crunchy, sweet and savoury mixed nuts with just a hint of lime. Serve them in a pretty bowl or sundae glass and see how quickly they disappear!
Happy Holidays from our home to yours!
What Are the Best Nuts and Seeds? (1997-2016). Retrieved from Mercola.com: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/19/best-nuts-seeds.aspx