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Posts tagged ‘almonds’

Recipe of the Week: Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower with Arugula and Almonds

This pasta recipe* has been on my list for a while, and I have to admit, I expected a bit more. But, instead of writing it off, I’m writing about how to make it better. It was quick enough for a weeknight, which is always a plus, and the roasted cauliflower can be made the day before.

I followed the recipe exactly and I think the key ingredient is the lemon juice or lemon zest at the end- it really brightened the flavors. A little more salt, more peppery arugula and olive oil would also help give it depth. It would be good with fresh ricotta and (more) lemon zest or as the base for a flaky white fish. This dish can easily be made with chickpea pasta to add protein, reduce carbs and add extra fiber.

*scroll down the website to see the recipe in English

Nuts for Nuts

Packed with nutrients and healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, nuts should be at the top of your shopping list.  1.5 oz per day of most nuts may help reduce the risk of heart disease when they replace saturated fats found in dairy and meat.  Nuts are high in vitamin E (an antioxidant) and magnesium.  Magnesium helps relax veins and arteries, which in turn improves blood flow.  Nuts are a satisfying snack and can help you feel full longer when they’re added to meals.  Below are some popular nuts, their health benefits, serving sizes and recipe suggestions.


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One of the most popular nuts, the Almond Board of California recommends eating just 23 almonds per day to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  This recommendation is supported by a statement released in 2003 from the US Food and Drug Administration.  Almonds are cholesterol and sodium free and high in monounsaturated fat.  Compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in vitamin E, protein, fiber, calcium, riboflavin and niacin.

1 oz = 160 calories (23 nuts)


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Walnuts are a natural (non fish!) source of omega-3 fats and are cholesterol and sodium free.  Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated and also have a positive effect on maintaining normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels.  Walnuts also have a qualified health claim from the US Food and Drug Administration stating that 1.5 oz of walnuts per day may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when they’re part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and they don’t contribute to excess calories.  As with all nuts, the best benefits come when they replace saturated and trans fats. Walnuts also have high amounts of protein, fiber, magnesium and phosphorus (these last two contribute to bone health).

1 oz = 190 calories (14 halves)


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Technically a legume (the bean family), peanuts provide monounsaturated fat, protein, fiber, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and zinc along with other vitamins and minerals.  Peanuts are naturally low in sodium and cholesterol free.

1 oz = 170 calories (28 peanuts)

Serving Suggestions:

  • Add nuts to cereals, oatmeal, yogurt and pasta dishes
  • Finely chop nuts to create a coating for salmon, halibut, shrimp or chicken
  • Use peanut or almond butter on whole wheat toast with breakfast
  • Try almond or walnut pesto
  • Add nuts to your favorite cookies and cakes