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I went down to the grove of nut trees to look at the new growth in the valley, to see if the vines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom. Song of Songs 6:11
Each nut carries the blueprint of a living monolith that will stretch to the heavens and fill the sky with a canopy of green. Giants that will stand outstretched in worship, bringing glory to a Creator who is not small. When we harvest nuts we gather a blessing of highly concentrated nutrients. Little packages of proteins, oils, vitamins and minerals essential to growth and germination.
Fresh raw nuts in their shells make the best snack food for two reasons. First, the oil will be fresh because of the natural protection of the outer shell. Secondly, cracking open the shell forces you to eat more slowly instead of handfuls of nuts that are improperly chewed and swallowed. You have time to mix this concentrated food with ample saliva, making it much easier on the digestive system. We eat food far too quickly and this is unhealthy, especially with highly concentrated foods. Chewing nuts slowly will help to eliminate the heaviness in the stomach. Mixing nuts with dried fruits increases their digestibility and the combinations of flavors are splendiciously delicious.
It is easy to overeat this luxurious treat. Learn to be content with small amounts, unless you are a serious bodybuilder or active.
Peanuts, which are not in the nut family, are 26% protein, compared to 20% lean beef. Snacking on the variety of raw nuts available to us is far more desirable than the average 4 to 6 billion dollars per year North Americans spend on snack foods. Nuts as a snack food are filling and satisfying, being slower to digest than fruits and vegetables. The high oil content wards off hunger pains for hours.
Do not be beguiled by the flavor of roasted nuts. They may taste delicious, especially when they are coated with salt and monosodium glutamate, but the delicate oils have been transformed into cancer-causing compounds. It will not take long for you to readjust your taste to the delicate, fresh flavor of salt-free, raw nuts. Once you do, you will never go back.
Raw food lends itself well to a disciplined life. When nuts are roasted and salted, they become addictive. In one evening, you can munch down a one pound container without a thought—until you go to bed and your stomach hurts. Yet, when the nuts are raw, a couple of handfuls are completely satisfying and can actually contribute to weight loss.
Unshelled nuts should be purchased and stored in the refrigerator. There are many nut butters sold in health food stores but are completely useless because the nuts have been roasted, exposed to light, air and heat, the three culprits that transform essential oils. Besides, why not make your own nut butter fresh every day? It’s simple and easy.
First of all, let us take a look at some individual nuts. We left ourselves out!
THE NUTS WE KNOW AND LOVED
It is believed that almonds were first cultivated in Morocco. Today, they are grown throughout the entire world. In California, there are 150,000 acres devoted to growing almonds. Almonds have been a mainstay for vegetarians for hundreds of years. One hundred grams of this delightful nut will yield 18 grams of protein. They are low in starch and are more than 50% unsaturated oil. Almond oil is high in oleic acid and rich in vitamin E, having a sweet aroma and extremely stable because the oil is monounsaturated. It is an excellent skin conditioner and massage oil. Almonds even have a greater effect on the skin when eaten. They also contain linoleic acid and are a good source of phosphorous and iron. One hundred milligrams of almonds contain 5 milligrams of iron compared with 3 milligrams of iron in two eggs. As with all nuts and seeds, almonds are rich in B vitamins. They are also high in calcium—a cup of almonds contains 332 milligrams of calcium.
Raw nut butters and nut milks are fabulously delicious. Almonds are a great alternative for the elderly who find it difficult to digest raw nuts. We are going to provide for you some delectable recipes where you can discover the versatility of nuts, especially almonds.
Everybody loves the taste of chocolate. Chocolate pudding, chocolate milk, chocolate pies, chocolate almonds, chocolate bars, chocolate covered ants and the list goes on of the huge number of treats commonly eaten from the cocoa bean. The problem is that cocoa contains caffeine, making it addictive and unhealthy for children who are large consumers of chocolate.
Caffeine is a stimulant. In the bloodstream, it acts as a vascular constrictor which causes the arteries to contract. The excess acid required to break down caffeine increases calcium loss. Caffeine has also been linked to male infertility and birth defects. Research done by Dr. Bruce Aims, from the University of California, discovered a substance called theobromine that is present in cocoa. This substance encourages certain carcinogens to be present in the cell, which can damage DNA. Caffeine increases heart rate and adrenaline in the bloodstream, forcing the body into wakefulness. The problem is that our body adjusts to the stimulation, causing us to become dependent on caffeine to maintain mental alertness. Cocoa is a common substance that causes allergic reactions. It is also linked to the all-too-common problem of acne amongst teenagers.
How would you like to have the delicious flavor of chocolate without the unhealthy properties of cocoa? To have your cake and eat it too!
Isn’t God wonderful? He really spoils us. Like cocoa, carob is bitter and not palatable alone. When mixed with Sucanat or honey or added to nut butters, it becomes a safe healthy alternative. Carob’s nick name is St. John’s bread because it is suspected of being one of the foods that sustained John the Baptist in the wilderness.
Carob is grown in the Middle East producing a long pod which is ground into powder. It contains a high amount of carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, iron and is plentiful in trace minerals. It is also a good source of B vitamins, thiamin riboflavin and niacin. It is approximately 7% protein and has a very small amount of fat. Carob is an excellent source of pectin which makes it a good colon cleanser. Carob flour has been used widely in controlling diarrhea in children during sickness. One tablespoon in a cup of water, a few times a day, will be highly effective. Carob powder and carob products can be found in your local health food store. You can use it in any of our nut butters. Mixed with Sucanat it makes an excellent garnish on fruit salads or breakfast mixtures. Works well in avocado milk-less milkshakes, and nut milks.
Raw, fresh cashews are a supreme delicacy. As you chew them, they turn into a milky, smooth cream in the mouth. Cashews make an excellent nut milk with a superior flavor and are better for you than milk. They make a great addition to salads. Try to buy whole, raw cashews.
It looks like a nut, it tastes like a nut and it's called a pea-nut, so we listed them here. They are supposed to be in the bean section because peanuts are in the legume family. We have a bean with an identity crisis!
Four out of five North Americans depend on the peanut and its byproducts as a main food source. One pound of peanuts contains more protein than a pound of meat and 2 ½ times the protein of a pound of eggs. In the vegetable kingdom, only soybeans and yeast contain more protein. Peanuts are rich in B complex vitamins, especially niacin. They are plentiful in phosphorus, iron and magnesium. Half the oil in peanuts is unsaturated and half of that again is the essential oil, linoleic acid. Peanut oil is preferable for cooking because of its greater stability. It can withstand temperatures up to 2140F before transforming into transfatty acids.
Name brand peanut butter is filled with salt, sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial flavorings, chemical preservatives and synthetic coal tar dyes to give it a healthy color. The food industry seems to have an agenda to make everything unwholesome and addictive. Why couldn’t they just leave peanut butter alone. It tastes great by itself. Adding hydrogenated oil to a legume that is already over 50% oil is ludicrous.
Often a health food store will have a peanut butter maker, enabling you to make your own peanut butter on the spot. This is the most nutritious way of having fresh peanut butter. Premade peanut butter should be purchased from the refrigerator of a health food store. Large amounts of oil separation show that the peanut butter is old.
Peanut butter from ground-up peanuts, even in its natural form, is inferior to our home-made nut butters because the peanuts have been heated to deepen the nutty taste. Here is a suggestion that we will be expanding on in the Recipe Section. If your children are nuts about peanut butter, slowly introduce raw nut butters, mixing them with peanut butter. Quietly increase the percentage of the natural nut butter each day. Before you know it, your children will have switched over to raw nut butter.
If you enjoy the flavor of raw peanuts, which is the best way to consume them, try mixing raw peanuts with raisins or dates, making them a delicious healthy alternative. Never eat deep-fried, salted peanuts commonly sold in stores. Instead, look for peanuts in the shell. Yes, they have been dry roasted, but are better than deep fried peanuts.
The early Persians and Greeks used walnuts for oil and powdered them to thicken desserts much like the way we use corn starch today. Ninety-five percent of all the walnuts eaten in North America come from—you guessed it, California. When the nuts are ready to be harvested they attach a tree shaker which causes the walnuts to fall from the sky like rain.
Walnuts in the shell are a messy, delicious treat. Raw, unshelled walnuts should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They can be broken into fine pieces for baking by rolling them with a rolling pin. Crushed walnuts sprinkled on cooked vegetables or salads are excellent. Some enjoy walnuts in rice or pasta dishes, even using them as garnish in soups.