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Go nuts!

Add nuts to your favorite recipes for delicious flavor and a hearty crunch

March 30, 2018
By KELLSEY TRIMBLE - GRIT magazine , Farm News

By KELLSEY TRIMBLE

GRIT Magazine

A handful of nuts, raw or roasted with a touch of salt, are delicious all on their own. They're easy to take on the go, and they serve as a nutritional powerhouse with a wealth of nutrients, making them a great choice for snacking any time of the day. With good amounts of heart-healthy fats, just a handful of plain nuts a day can help improve overall health.

Article Photos

-Photo submission by Fotolia/annie1961

Bring this savory broccoli salad to the picnic table.

A nut is actually a fruit made up of what is usually an edible seed or kernel encased in a hard shell. Oftentimes, especially around the fall and winter holidays, you can find mixes including walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts, among others, freshly collected from the land and for sale on the stands at markets. Each autumn at the farmers market in my hometown, there is a vendor who offers freshly roasted nuts to snack on while perusing the aisles, which is a hard treat to beat on a chilly morning.

Some nuts, like black walnuts, have very thick shells and can be difficult to crack. Such nuts require a nut-cracking tool to break the shell and get at the meat inside. Pistachios often come roasted, with the shell half-cracked, ready to pull apart so you can pop the kernel into your mouth. You can simply purchase other nuts in bulk, like almonds and pine nuts, already shelled and ready for eating or cooking. If a recipe calls for chopped nuts and you're not up to doing the chopping yourself, most nut varieties can be purchased already chopped. Check the baking aisle of the grocery store.

If you are looking to incorporate these nutritious little nuggets into your diet more often, try these recipes, and they just might end up in your regular kitchen rotation.

Broccoli salad

Yields about 6 servings.

1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup raisins

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup chopped cashews or pecans

1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained, optional

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Red onion rings, optional

In large bowl, toss together broccoli, chopped onion, raisins, bacon, cashews, and water chestnuts, if using.

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, and mix until sugar is dissolved. Stir into broccoli mixture, mixing well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve garnished with shredded cheese and red onion rings, if desired.

Blueberry muffins

Yields 12 muffins.

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Stir in vanilla, and beat until thoroughly blended. Fold in blueberries and walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among paper liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.

Orange zucchini

nut bread

Yields 3 loaves.

3/4 cup oil

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 cups raw, shredded zucchini

1 teaspoon orange extract

Zest from 2 oranges

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, and eggs, and blend thoroughly.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Add to egg mixture, and stir to combine. Stir in zucchini, orange extract and zest, and nuts, and mix well.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until bread tests done. Cool slightly in pans before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Banana oatmeal

pancakes

Yields 12 (4-inch) pancakes.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup uncooked quick or old-fashioned oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature

1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 cup mashed bananas

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Maple syrup

2 bananas, sliced

Whole or halved walnuts

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.

In large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt, if desired.

In medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and oil. Stir into flour mixture.

Add mashed bananas and chopped walnuts, and mix with fork until just moistened.

Grease skillet with additional oil, butter, or lard, enough to lightly cover bottom. Pour 1/4 cup batter into hot skillet. When top is covered with bubbles and edges look dry, flip with spatula. Continue cooking until bottom is golden. Remove from skillet and place on baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Keep warm in oven.

Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet each time.

Serve pancakes in stacks, topped with syrup, sliced bananas, and whole or halved walnuts.

Zucchini cookies

Yields 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg, beaten

1 cup peeled, seeded, grated zucchini

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In another large bowl, cream together sugar, butter, and egg until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients, mixing well. Stir in zucchini, raisins, and nuts.

Drop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tops are light golden brown and centers are set. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Blackberry cake

Yields about 8 servings.

2 1/3 cups sugar, divided

1/3 cup lard

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup blackberries

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-by-13-inch cake pan; set aside.

In large bowl, cream 1 1/3 cups sugar with lard. Add eggs, buttermilk, and blackberries, and stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Stir into creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in nuts.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan.

In large mixing bowl, mix remaining sugar and cream cheese with hand mixer until fluffy. Add whipped topping, and mix gently to combine. Spread on cooled cake.

Granny's hickory

nut pie

Yields 1 pie.

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup white syrup

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup chopped hickory nut meats

1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl, mix together eggs, syrup, sugar, vanilla, and butter. Stir in nut meats.

Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F, and continue baking for an additional 40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool before slicing and serving.

 
 

 

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