A homemade edible gift is always a thoughtful gesture, whether it's destined for a spot under the Christmas tree or to be toted along to a party as a hostess gift, but it's no secret that most take a fair amount of time and foresight to prepare. Still, that's no reason to abandon the idea entirely. If you're pressed for time, turn to this fast yet festive fix: za'atar spiced nuts. Not only are they a nice reprieve from the onslaught of holiday sweets and decadent treats, but they also can be made (cooling included) in only about an hour, so you can get on with the festivities at hand. Get the easy recipe.
If you're one of those eat-peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar people, get your spoon ready for this recipe. While peanut butter is quite possibly one of the most perfect foods, even die-hard fans can get a little bored of the same old spread. Surprise your whole wheat toast and apple slices by spreading this mixed nut butter instead.
This homemade version will really rock your PB-loving world because it actually contains no peanuts at all. It's made with almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, creating a taste so fresh and unique that you'll never buy another jar from the store again. But it doesn't stop here — since there are so many different nuts and seeds to choose from, the possibilities of mixed nut butter creations are as wild as your imagination.
Keep reading for this simple 94-calorie recipe.
A bowl of whole shell-on walnuts can be a beautiful part of a holiday spread, but the question arises: how to get at the nutmeats nestled inside? A nutcracker may be the most efficient way to go about this task, but there is another less conventional way to do it without tools, and it's a great party trick to boot.
Place two walnuts in your palm. Find a ridge on one of the nuts, and line it up with an indentation on the other, as if putting together two puzzle pieces (this keeps them locked together). Curl fingertips inward using firm pressure, as if trying to make a fist, until the ridged nut cracks open the other.
For an addictive, crowd-pleasing snack that takes next to no time to master, turn to sweet and salty spiced nuts. Our wholesome, warming recipe for rosemary and sesame seed pecans is not only versatile, but also guaranteed to leave your house smelling like fragrant rosemary and pine. We love serving this cozy snack straight out of the oven, and it also doubles as a thoughtful hostess gift. Print out the recipe, and then watch the video to see more.
Practical might not seem like high praise for a sweet treat, but while these chewy, butter-rich caramel nut bars are as delectable as you'd imagine, it's the former that I prize most about this recipe. Individual tartlets, cupcakes, and the like may be darling, but it's bar cookies (think brownies, blondies, and lemon bars) that take the stress out of baking for a crowd.
Not only are most bar cookies crowd-pleasing — few sane people will turn down a fudgy brownie or nut-studded bar — but all it takes are a few precise cuts of a chef's knife to break them down into individual portions. Trust me, you're going to want to try this recipe for yourself.
Enter the trail mix section at Trader Joe's: the seemingly endless shelf is packed with nearly a dozen varieties from candy-laden Peanut Butter Cups Trax Mix to healthier, nut-and-dried-fruit-studded Omega Trek Mix. Even though the immense offerings initially overwhelmed us, we were curious to learn which variety reigns supreme. In the interest of saving you from snapping up a dud, we crunched, chewed, and savored the lot. See which winners emerged.
While a store-bought bag of trail mix can satisfy a craving, trail mix is by its nature customizable, so why not tweak and tinker in order to find the exact flavor profile you're after? Stick to these essential guidelines when compiling a new signature blend and your results are bound to sing.
- Roast your nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds shine when roasted briefly; simply preheat your oven to 350ºF, lay the nuts out on a sheet pan in a single layer, and toast for 6-10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly golden. Alternatively, buy them pre-roasted, or toast them on the stove.
- Don't forget the salt! Sweet flavors perk up when enhanced with a pinch of salt. Consider including at least one salty element to your trail mix, such as roasted salted peanuts, almonds, shelled pistachios, or cashews; peanut-butter-stuffed pretzel bites; pretzel M&M's; or yogurt-covered pretzels. If none of those flavors jive with your flavor profile, simply toss dried fruits with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Sipping on a protein shake after a workout is a great way to help your muscles recover, but if you're not careful, you could be consuming so many calories that you end up gaining weight. For a lighter, more portable post-workout snack, roll up some nutty homemade protein balls made with a high-protein secret ingredient.
These are made without protein powder, so they're perfect if you're not a fan or it's not an ingredient you keep in your kitchen.
The protein in these bites comes from cottage cheese, raw almonds, and rolled oats. With a touch of cinnamon and maple syrup, these balls that you pop in the freezer taste more like an after-workout bite of cherry cheesecake.
Each ball contains 78 calories and offers 3.7 grams of protein. Keep reading to learn how to whip up this simple and tasty recipe.
There's a reason healthy kitchens are usually stocked with nuts; they're a convenient snack full of protein, good fats, and fiber. Even better, a little goes a long way in keeping you satisfied until your next meal. A new study highlights an even more amazing benefit — people who eat nuts three times a week are less likely to die from cancer or heart disease.
The study, published in BMC Medicine, followed over 7,000 older people with high heart disease risk who were either on a Mediterranean diet (already shown to be one of the healthiest ways to eat) supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, or a low-fat diet. The participants were followed for a median of almost five years; researchers found that those who ate an ounce of nuts three times a week reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 55 percent and cancer by 40 percent. There were also fewer people with Type 1 diabetes or hypertension in the nut-eating group. Nut eaters also had a 39 percent lower risk of dying overall than the rest; those who ate more walnuts fared the best, having a 45 percent lower risk of dying.
Other studies have already shown that people who eat nuts have a lower BMI, smaller waistline, are less likely to smoke, and are more physically active than those who don't eat nuts, so it seems choosing nuts as your snack might spur you to make healthier choices overall. Just remember nuts are high in calories, so don't go overboard and eat a whole can in one sitting. Learn just how many nuts are in an ounce here.
Although creamy peanut butter once ruled the supermarket aisle, today, nut butter options abound. Few, however, are as novel as Nuttzo, a new line of blended "seven-nut-and-seed butters," available in both peanut- and almond-based options. We've discovered a few favorites from this new brand; see some of our picks when you keep reading.