Nuts make excellent milk, each one lending its own unique flavor and nutritional benefits. Make a thicker cream to pour over hot baked fruit or make thinner to add to smoothies or make hot chocolate.
Autumn and early winter are the peak harvest times for nuts. Nature’s little powerhouses, nuts possess all the energy, to create a strong, towering tree, making them one of the most nutrient rich forms of foods available to humans. One short blog isn’t enough space to tackle all 300+ edible types of nuts, but it is more than adequate to get a brief overview of the nutritional benefits and energetics of nuts along with handling, storage and some ideas of how to incorporate nuts into your diet.
Western nutritional highlights
Although nuts will vary in their content of protein, oils, vitamins and minerals we can look at them overall and get the general idea of what they have to offer.
- Protein– All nuts are high in protein. A 1/3 cup serving of cashews contains 21 grams. However that same serving gives you 260 calories–something to consider if you are calorie counting. The amino acids in nuts are pretty well balanced but lack the methionine and tryptophan found in animal proteins. However, mixed with grains, as many traditional cultures do, you can easily balance the meal.
- Fats–Don’t let the word scare you. We need healthy fats to maintain healthy hormones, immunity, and nervous system, cerebral functions and more. And it’s the fats that give nuts their delicious flavor and the sensation that satiates our appetite. Luckily, most nuts are high in unsaturated fats (happy fats), and many of them have been shown to successfully help lower blood lipid levels (high cholesterol) and aid in the treatment of heart disease. In fact, nearly all nuts have appeared in studies and are shown to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart. Nut’s fat content varies from about 50% (found in peanuts and almonds) […]
April Crowell Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN
In Chinese medicine, each of the 5 Seasons has its own energetic dynamics and movement of Qi (energy). Autumn’s arrival shifts the Qi that had been expanding outward (Yang) in the Summer to begin to shift inward (Yin). We glide through Late Summer at the equinox and then slide into Autumn–the season of Yin within Yang.
Autumn is the time of harvest and a time to start storing to prepare for Winter’s cold. After shedding their leaves or ripened fruits and seeds, plants die back or their energy retreats to their roots. Appropriately, Autumn’s abundant food is perfectly suited to help our body’s Qi move inward. This allows our bodies to have greater energy to fend off common ailments, a chance to replenish and provide the opportunity to embrace the season’s delights.
April Crowell Dipl.ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN
Who doesn’t love a little sweet?
Of the 5 flavors, I can safely say, sweet is the most popular. It is also the most abundant naturally occurring flavor. Like sour, bitter, pungent and salty, sweet serves a purpose. But don’t run out and start doing sugar shots or dive into the local candy store. Sweet is a little tricky and is vastly overused in the forms of sugar or empty sweets. Too much sweet is detrimental to health so being able to recognize the sweet flavor that is healing is important.
A great whole foods sweet snack using figs, honey, greek yogurt and nuts!