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Why We Should Go Nuts for Nuts (and Seeds)!

There’s no doubt that food is getting more creative. We’re tapping into our resources like never before. Even twenty years ago in the United States, pea milk and oat milk weren’t even heard of and almond milk wasn’t a mainstream item you could find in grocery stores. Chickpea flour? Peanut flour? Those were niche grocery items if you could find them at all. These creativity in our food is opening new, sustainable doors, as well as improving our health. There are plenty of peanut flour uses that offer a healthier way of living. And indeed, Harvard research reports that if we have two servings of nuts a day, it can improve our ability to fight cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Who wouldn’t want to start looking at peanut flour uses or looking into incorporating different types of nuts into their diet?

The Mighty Peanut
There’s no denying that Americans love their peanuts. Between 2008 and 2014, Americans ate almost 120 million pounds of peanut butter annually. Around 90% of households in the United States use peanut butter and they’re the most popular nut to eat in the United States (peanuts and peanut butter are almost 70% of the total nut consumption in this country).

Runner peanuts are the most common type of peanut grown in the United States. These make up over 75% of the peanut crop in the United States. And the peanut is popular elsewhere too — in 2013, United States peanut farmers shipped out over 350,000 tons of peanuts as an export, per the USDA. And why shouldn’t they be popular? One ounce (that’s one serving) of raw peanuts has over seven grams of protein and almost 2.5 grams of fiber. Not bad for such a little nut!

What are Some Common Peanut Flour Uses?

There’s a new peanut product hitting the peanut stage — that of peanut flour. There’s a surprising list of peanut flour uses that continues to grow as innovative cooks embrace it. From pancakes to sauces and smoothies, peanut flour can do it all. It’s a flour that vegan and gluten-free cooks (and beyond!) should have in their arsenal.

Many people enjoy it for baking — in breads, cakes, and muffins — for an additional nutty flavor. It can also be mixed in with nut butters and stretched with water to make those pricy nut butters go a little farther. For smoothie lovers, peanut flour is a godsend. No more worries about scraping peanut butter off the sides of your blender or worrying about it clogging your blades. Peanut flour lends the protein and flavor, without the mess. And, it’s also popular as an addition to sauces and dips for Asian-style cuisine.

If you’re wondering what peanut flour nutrition
looks like, it’s 40-50% protein and is safe for consumption for vegans and those who are gluten-free. Research is also showing that it can be a heart healthy flour as well.

Why Should I Try to Get Nuts and Seeds Into My Diet?
Nuts and seeds offer a great dose of fiber and protein to your diet and are easy snack foods to pack. Plus, they’re tasty, so you’re being healthy without having to think about it!

A study in Spain that involved over 8,800 men and women showed that participants who ate nuts at least twice a week were over 30% less likely to gain weight than those who didn’t eat nuts (or who rarely did). Furthermore, other studies have shown that eating nuts can boost brain function. One study that lasted for eight weeks and involved 64 healthy young adults showed that walnuts boosted comprehension.

As for seeds, they offer varied proteins and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are what experts say we should be trying to get more of. For better cardiovascular, digestive, immune and bone health, weight management, reduced risk of some cancers, and blood sugar management, it’s time to turn to seeds.

Do yourself a favor and incorporate more seeds and nuts into your diet. Whether it’s with peanut flour or almond milk or just a trail mix type of snack, you’ll improve your protein and fiber intake and reap other positive benefits.