ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Cooking Ingredients

How To Add Nuts To Your Diet

Updated on August 25, 2012
Walnut butter is a healthy addition to breakfast.
Walnut butter is a healthy addition to breakfast. | Source

Including nuts in your diet is a smart idea. Besides their warm, satisfying flavors, nuts contain vitamins and minerals that we may not get from other sources.

Grabbing a handful to munch on always works. But I wondered if I could figure out some new ways to incorporated nuts in my day. And I ended up with three easy and yummy ideas that you might enjoy, too.

Homemade walnut butter is less expensive than store-bought and quick to make.
Homemade walnut butter is less expensive than store-bought and quick to make. | Source

Nut Butter

Nut Butters have become popular - peanut, of course, but now almond, hazelnut and others are widely available in stores. I decided to try making my own, and used walnuts that were already in my refrigerator. You can use whichever kind you like.

First, I roasted the walnuts to bring out their flavor. Here's how: place 1 cup in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Put them into a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes. Pull them out and check for burning. Stir them a little and let them cook a couple of minutes longer. Take them out and let them cool.

Then I made the butter this way: put nuts into a food processor. Run it for 2 minutes or until a paste forms, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a spatula if needed. If the paste is thicker than you would like, try mixing in olive or flaxseed oil by teaspoonfuls until it is the right consistency.

After tasting it, I added just a tiny pinch of salt. The flavor was just a little bitter, as walnuts are - you can add a little sugar to even it out. But it looked as creamy as the organic jarred brands and spread easily. My daughter enjoyed it right away on a bagel.

Note: Store the butter in a sealed container in your refrigerator to prevent spoilage.

Walnut dip with apples and peaches
Walnut dip with apples and peaches | Source

Nut Cream

Then I had another idea - turning the butter into a sauce or dip. I could imagine it with fruit or maybe on a coffee or pound cake.

It turned out to be easy: just whisk together the nut butter and low fat milk in equal parts. You can use water instead - or cream, if you want to make it more luscious. Then use it in fruit platters, or drizzle it over a dessert.

Spinach quiche with pine nut crust
Spinach quiche with pine nut crust | Source

Recipe: Spinach Quiche With Pine Nut Crust

One of the first ways I thought of using nuts in a recipe was as part of a crust. Since, I love making (and eating) quiche, I decided to try modifying a familiar recipe to include pine nuts. They gave a new depth to the flavor, and the crust handled beautifully - a winner all around!

Spinach Quiche With Pine Nut Crust

Cast your vote for Quiche

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour 50 min
Yields: 4-6 servings
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pine nuts add a distinctive flavor to crust.Basil plants grow quickly and yield a lot of leaves.Milk and parmesan cheese add richness to quiche.Pine nuts and wheat flour combine for a moist, tastey crust.Sauteed spinach and garlic make the bottom layer of the quiche.
Pine nuts add a distinctive flavor to crust.
Pine nuts add a distinctive flavor to crust. | Source
Basil plants grow quickly and yield a lot of leaves.
Basil plants grow quickly and yield a lot of leaves. | Source
Milk and parmesan cheese add richness to quiche.
Milk and parmesan cheese add richness to quiche. | Source
Pine nuts and wheat flour combine for a moist, tastey crust.
Pine nuts and wheat flour combine for a moist, tastey crust. | Source
Sauteed spinach and garlic make the bottom layer of the quiche.
Sauteed spinach and garlic make the bottom layer of the quiche. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white or wheat flour, (I like combining them)
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, ground in a food processor or grinder to make paste (about 5 tbsp paste)
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 small or 1 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups spinach, large leaves chopped lightly
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 3/4 cup basil, rolled up and cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour into a bowl. Add the pine nut paste, mixing it in gently with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Moisten dough with the water, then knead it a few times until it is smooth. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. When dough has chilled, take it back out. Roll it out, on a floured surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap, thin enough to cover the bottom and sides of a pie tin.
  3. When crust is in the tin, cover it with wax or parchment paper and put a layer of rice or beans on top (this will keep the pastry from puffing up). Bake for 10 minutes. Take away the paper and rice/beans and bake for another few minutes until it just starts to brown. Remove the crust and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil to medium low in a pan. Saute the garlic for 1 minute, being careful not to burn it. Put in the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat to let it cool. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add in the basil and cheese.
  5. Spread the garlic and spinach over the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top of that. Then bake the quiche for about 50 minutes until it is well set and the top is starting to brown.
  6. Sprinkle some extra cheese and chopped basil on top if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Heather63 5 years ago

      Hi akirchner! The coffee grinder is a smart idea - I'd like to have an extra one on hand for things other than coffee. And I'm impressed and glad to hear about your husband's health, diabetes can be such an overwhelming condition. I have a friend with adult onset, and she's had to reevaluate everything she does in light of it. I hope you enjoy the butter!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Heather - those are great ideas! I love nuts and have at least 4 or 5 varieties on hand all the time. I spin mine in the coffee grinder or the food processor and use the ground up particles to replace part of the flour in loads of things - like cheesecake crusts or quiches--and to coat things in lightly--then I spray them with vegetable spray and bake them....nuts are just so good for you. My husband has improved his diabetes to the point it's gone (type 2) and one of his things was adding nuts to his diet. You don't need many mind you at a time because of the calories and fat but man are they good for you! Great idea on the walnut butter....yum. Will have to try that.

    • Heather63 profile image
      Author

      Heather Adams 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thanks, Helen! I do really enjoy "experimenting" in the kitchen. And I'm grateful my family is usually up for it!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      What a wonderful hub this is and a great way to incorporate nuts into the diet. The spinach quiche with the pine nut crust looks delicious and will definately give this one a try.

      Many thanks for sharing these delicious ideas. Voted up + shared

    • profile image

      Heather63 5 years ago

      Good for you! I hope with your intolerances, etc that nuts are both delicious and easy for you to take - they are so great nutritionally.

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great hub! I have no trouble finding ways to add nuts to my diet because I love them - nut butter, whole nuts, nut flours/meals yum!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)