add this: nuts

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I have to admit something.

I don’t always love nuts.

But then I remember that they are kind of a perfect snack, and can be pretty darn delicious from time to time. Everyone likes peanut butter, right?  I just recently came around to raw almond butter, and now I slather it on toast, celery and apples on a regular basis. I would never turn down pine nuts in pesto either. :)

If you are aren’t yet a fan, try adding some nuts in at snack time or nut butters for breakfast or lunch. Here’s the what, why and how…

What:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • (peanuts are technically a legume but are usually fall into the nut category)

Why:

  • contain fat, protein and fiber
  • full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • can help reduce the risk of diabetes
  • nutrient dense: full of vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, copper, magnesium

How:

  • Raw Nuts are best and then roast at home so they don’t go rancid
  • Add some flavor to roasted nuts (like curried or herbed nuts)
  • As a snack, on salads, or part of trail mix
  • Nut Butter – look for natural varieties – the only ingredients should be nuts and/or salt.
  • Watch portions! Nuts, although good for you, are very calorie-dense. A serving is one ounce.
  • Recipes to Try: Almond-Honey Power Bar, Nut Recipes on Foodily, Nut Recipes on Gojee

Do you have a favorite nut or way to eat them?

low-calorie snacks

Most of the time, I prefer snacks that are high in fat, protein and have at least 150-200 calories or I find myself snacking again 5 minutes later. Current favorites: apple + almond butter or cheese + crackers. (Ok, cheese + crackers isn’t current, it’s constant).

But there are times, *cough* at night *cough* when I’m not really hungry, I just want something.

Here are the “snacks” that aren’t really snacks  – for those times when I want something but don’t need it.

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Low Calorie Snacks: 

  • miso soup (you can use instant or make your own with miso + wakame)
  • tea
  • a few olives
  • raw veggies like celery, cucumber
  • high-water fruit like watermelon, grapes, melon, etc.
  • frozen fruit bars
  • frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans
  • seaweed snacks
  • roasted asparagus
  • brothy soups
  • leafy salads with a splash of olive oil and vinegar
  • dill pickle or sauerkraut
  • sliced tomato with drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
  • tomato juice
  • air-popped popcorn
  • grilled scallions (we had these all the time in Mexico growing up)!

Any favorites to add to the list? 

quick 1-minute snack ideas

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There are times when you need a snack.

Immediately.

Or is that just me?

There are often a few options – plain carrots (sometimes boring) or processed vending machine snacks (sometimes not very healthy, rarely filling). And then there are the snacks that fall somewhere in between. Ideally, they’ll contain a combination of fresh foods, protein, a bit of fat and some fiber so that they stick with you for longer than 5 minutes.

Here are some of the quick snacks I rely on, please add your own to the list, I’m always looking for new snack ideas!

Quick 1 Minute Snack Ideas: 

  • tortilla + pesto + cheese  – microwaved for about 30 seconds
  • apple slices + nut butter
  • hot pita bread + hummus
  • tortilla chips + salsa + refried or black beans
  • toast + nut butter
  • frozen waffle + apple slices + slice of cheese – broiled until cheese melts
  • cottage cheese + fruit chunks
  • smoothie: frozen fruit + spinach + milk + greek yogurt – blend until smooth
  • slice of whole grain toast + smashed avocado
  • handful of almonds + square of dark chocolate
  • sliced cheese + triscuits
  • greek yogurt + granola, cereal or fresh fruit
  • quick deviled egg – halve hard boiled egg, mix yolk with 1-2 tsp mayo + salt + pepper, put mixture in egg whites

frosted sandwich loaf

The title sounds scary, right? I know. This recipe is a little scary. But it’s more about where the recipe is from.

Along with a ziploc bag full of garden-fresh brussels sprouts stuffed in my suitcase, I also came home from Wisconsin with this cookbook.

It is the Congressional Club Recipe Cookbook that had been given to my grandparents. I was instantly in-love with this family heirloom (probably only thought so by me) and the glimpse it provided me to food circa 1945. Some of the dishes were absolutely awful-sounding. (Baked Prune Whip)  In fact, all of the recipes that included jello or gelatin were immediately dismissed.

Tuna Surprise and Salmon Loaf were iffy, but some of the recipes sounded delicious. And some just made me laugh.

Ultimately I decided to start my retro cooking with a Frosted Sandwich Loaf. Slices of white bread are slathered with butter, than filled with a filling of choice (sardine salad, egg salad and cucumbers are some of the suggestions) but with the thought of cream cheese, I went immediately to Minnesota Sushi (ham & pickle roll-up) because cream cheese and sardines just didn’t grab me.

The end result was beautiful. (In my crazy mind.) And the Taster actually enjoyed eating it. It’s not the kind of thing you’d make on a regular basis, but if you need a retro recipe, this is the cookbook to turn to.

Frosted Sandwich Loaf

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 min

Keywords: bread sandwich

A fun, retro recipe!

Ingredients (4 slices)

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 oz ham
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickles
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • touch of cream or milk
  • green onions

Instructions

Remove crusts from bread.

Spread each side with butter.

Place one slice on plate.

Layer with ham and pickles and another slice of bread.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Press down evenly and refrigerate for an hour.

Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese and whip with a fork until smooth, adding milk if necessary.

Spread cream cheese over sandwich loaf, garnishing with green onion if desired.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Slice and serve.

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