Nuts are a fabulous source of protein. They are also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, with some even containing antioxidants. Almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios are the most common nuts we use.
Nuts are easy, delicious and versatile – eat them natural, blanched, roasted, salted, ground, on their own or in cakes, desserts and salads. Like all foods eat in moderation and try to avoid the oily roasted ones. Where your budget allows, organic is wonderful.
Now for the fun part – let’s look at some tasty ways to use nuts.
A time-poor breakfast
- 100g Gippsland Smooth & Creamy Yoghurt Twist
- Chopped green pear
- Handful of roasted, flaked almonds
- Mix all together and enjoy!
Fig and pecan torte
- 8 eggwhites
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups of chopped dried figs
- 2 cups of chopped dried pecans
- Beat eggwhites to form stiff peaks.
- Add the brown sugar and beat till stiff peaks form.
- Add vanilla.
- Fold in the chopped nuts and the figs.
- Spoon gently into a greased large spring form tin lined with baking paper.
- Bake in a preheated 170C oven for 35 to 40 mins.
- Cool in the tin.
- Slice into eight to 10 slices and serve with whipped cream and slices of dried fig.
- ½ packet of couscous
- ½ cup of parsley (or coriander) – chopped
- ½ cup of roasted, chopped cashews
- ½ cup of currants – preferably organic
- ½ cup of chickpeas – cooked or tinned
- ½ leek (or onion) – finely chopped and fried
- ½ red capsicum – cut into strips and cooked
- 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
- Cover couscous with boiling water and whisk till water is absorbed. Hint: the more effort you put into this step, the better and less gluggy the couscous will be.
- Allow the couscous to cool.
- Add all the other ingredients and combine well.
- This salad is best made a few hours ahead of eating, and will last well in the fridge for a few days.
Raspberry and almond tarts
- 245g butter
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 2 ½ cups of icing sugar
- 1 ½ cups of ground almonds
- 10 eggwhites
- 1 pkt of frozen raspberries (you can use fresh but they are just so expensive at the moment)
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease six individual tart cases (or one large).
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for five minutes. The butter will become a golden colour and smell quite nutty.
- In a bowl place the flour and ground almonds, add the melted butter and combine using a wooden spoon.
- Add the eggwhites and stir till they are completely amalgamated.
- Cover with gladwrap and place in the fridge for half an hour to rest.
- Place the greased tart cases on a baking tray, spoon the mixture equally amongst the cases and top with raspberries.
- Cook for about 35 minutes. The tarts will puff up a bit and have a golden crust.
- Serve warm or cold with thick double cream.
- The tarts will keep well for a few days.
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