This winter weather is whipping us. It takes a lot of energy to put on layer after layer, bundle up and waddle under the weight of those layers to shovel, clear the car, go to work or whatever the task is that takes you outdoors. Some of us would like to hibernate—but that gets old quickly and really drains my energy. One way to energize is snacks—snack on nuts.
I like all nuts and eat them out of hand; my favorites are walnuts. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and antioxidants. Eating walnuts is good for heart health and energy. Nuts can be high in fat and calories, so it’s important to practice portion control—12 to 14 walnut halves or 1/4 cup is about 185 calories.
Nuts are powerhouses of nutrients—almonds, pistachios, peanuts and pecans make good snacks too. But remember the calorie count can add up quickly on any of them because they are so easy to eat and taste good. Now if you have a tough time limiting the number of nuts you’re eating consider pistachios and peanuts. These two are often in a shell which makes you work twice as hard to get to the good stuff. The shell is a natural portion control barrier to eating them by the handful.
Here’s a recipe for a nut mix that uses mixed nuts and raisins. You can toss together a batch for parties and keep some in zip-top plastic bags in the freezer (or your car) for your next snack attack.
Golden Nut Mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3 cups cashews
3 cups walnuts or pecans
1-1/2 cups raisins
1-1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine butter, curry and ginger. In large bowl, combine nuts and raisins. Pour butter mixture over nuts and raisins, mixing gently to blend. Spread mixture in single layer on 15-1/2 x 10-1/2-inch baking pan. Bake one hour at 250°F, stirring 3 to 4 times. Remove from oven and cool. Store prepared nut mix in airtight canister. Makes 9 cups.