Nutopia News 'N More
Monday, 24 September 2012
Pecans Were Popular From the Start
The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. The name "pecan" is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe "all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favored because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste.
Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn. It is speculated that pecans were used to produce a fermented intoxicating drink called "Powcohicora" (where the word "hickory" comes from). It also is said that Native Americans first cultivated the pecan tree.
Presidents Washington and Jefferson Loved Pecans, Too!
One of the first known cultivated pecan tree plantings, by Spanish colonists and Franciscans in northern Mexico, appears to have taken place in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. These plantings are documented to around 1711—about 60 years before the first recorded planting by U.S. colonists.
The first U.S. pecan planting took place in Long Island, NY in 1772. By the late 1700’s, pecans from the northern range reached the English portion of the Atlantic Seaboard and were planted in the gardens of easterners such as George Washington (1775) and Thomas Jefferson (1779). Settlers were also planting pecans in community gardens along the Gulf Coast at this time.
In the late 1770’s, the economic potential of pecans was realized by French and Spanish colonists settling along the Gulf of Mexico. By 1802, the French were exporting pecans to the West Indies—although it is speculated that pecans were exported to the West Indies and Spain earlier by Spanish colonists in northern Mexico. By 1805, advertisements in London said that the pecan was "...a tree meriting attention as a cultivated crop."
The Birth of an Industry
New Orleans, located near the mouth of the Mississippi River, became very important to the marketing of pecans. The city had a natural market as well as an avenue for redistributing pecans to other parts of the U.S. and the world. The New Orleans market gained local interest in planting orchards, which stimulated the adaptation of vegetative propagation techniques and led to the demand for trees that produce superior nuts.
During the 1700’s and the early 1800’s, the pecan became an item of commerce for the American colonists and the pecan industry was born. (In San Antonio, the wild pecan harvest was more valuable than popular row crops like cotton!)
Pecan groves (trees established by natural forces) and orchards (trees planted by man) consisted of diverse nuts with various sizes, shapes, shell characteristics, flavor, fruiting ages and ripening dates. In the midst of this variability, there was the occasional discovery of a wild tree with unusually large, thin-shelled nuts, which were in high demand by customers.
In 1822, Abner Landrum of South Carolina discovered a pecan budding technique, which provided a way to graft plants derived from superior wild selections (or, in other words, to unite with a growing plant by placing in close contact). However, this invention was lost or overlooked until 1876 when an African-American slave gardener from Louisiana (named Antoine) successfully propagated pecans by grafting a superior wild pecan to seedling pecan stocks. Antoine’s clone was named “Centennial” because it won the Best Pecan Exhibited award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. His 1876 planting, which eventually became 126 Centennial trees, was the first official planting of improved pecans.
The successful use of grafting techniques led to grafted orchards of superior genotypes and proved to be a milestone for the pecan industry. The adoption of these techniques was slow and had little commercial impact—until the 1880’s when Louisiana and Texas nurserymen learned of pecan grafting and began propagation on a commercial level.
Thus was the start of a booming pecan growing and shelling industry!
A Pecan Timeline
- Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans
1600’s – 1700’s
- Spanish colonists cultivated orchards (late 1600’s - early 1700’s)
- English settlers planted pecan trees (1700’s)
- George Washington planted pecan trees (1775)
- Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees (1779)
- Economic potential for pecans realized (late 1700’s)
Source: Pecan Technology, Edited by Charles R. Santerre
- Pecans exported by French to the West Indies (1802)
- Pecan budding technique discovered (1822)
- Successful grafting of the pecan tree (1846)
- First planting of improved pecans (1876)
- Commercial propagation of pecans begins (1880’s)
For more information on this topic, please visit the source of this article at http://www.ilovepecans.org/history.html
Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Peanut butter is for some, food of the gods. It can be eaten with chocolate, it can be eaten with jam, it can be smeared on chicken, and it can even be used in drinks! It seems that the uses for the wonderful stuff are endless. So, in order to prove that that really is the case, I have put together this list of 10 uses for peanut butter that you probably don’t know. Hopefully there should be at least one or two tips here that everyone will benefit from. If you know of other great peanut butter uses, be sure to tell us in the comments.
Peanut butter is an excellent lubricator. If your lawnmower blades are getting a little tight and rusty – smear on some of the spread and voila – perfect lubrication. This hint is particularly useful because almost every time I need lube, I don’t have any around – but I always have a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. It can be used for virtually all your lubrication needs.
If you own a cat or a dog, you will know how hard it can be to get them to take their medication – especially when it is in pill form. Fortunately cats and dogs lovepeanut butter – so next time you have to give them some medication, mix it up with a spoonful and feed it to them. No more struggling with the animal as you hold its mouth open and try to force feed it a bitter pill.
Most recipes that use butter can be cooked with peanut butter instead. In cookies and cakes this can make a wonderful and subtle taste difference. Next time you are making fudge brownies, try using peanut butter instead – it will be like eating a huge Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. You can also stir peanut butter into a sauce instead of butter to give it a nutty finish.
Mice are not particularly fond of cheese – so it is strange that it is the first food people go for when they are baiting their mousetraps. What most people don’t know is that mice prefer peanut butter – how this has been proven I do not know, but the fact that peanut butter is so much cheaper than cheese, makes this tip a very handy and frugal one. So next time you need to bait a mouse trap, don’t bother loading it with camembert or 5 year aged cheddar, stick on some trusty peanut butter.
Despite the major advances in science in recent years, no one seems to have managed to invent a label that can be removed easily without leaving any glue behind. Fortunately, we have peanut butter. Rub some of the tasty spread on the label glue and rub with a cloth – it works brilliantly.
If you have ever fried fish, you will know that it leaves behind a rather unpleasant fishy smell in the house. To help eradicate the smell, take a tablespoon of peanut butter after you have finished frying the fish, drop it in the frying pan and fry it off for a minute or two. The smell of peanut butter is the house is much more enjoyable than stale fish and oil.
Peanut butter is an excellent cleaner for leather furniture. Just rub a small amount on and work it in in a circular motion. Remove with a buffing cloth and there you have it! The caveat to this tip is peanut-butter smelling furniture. To avoid that you might want to mix a little perfume oil in it – but not too much. Also, if you do add the perfume, make sure you don’t mix up your jars or you will end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that tastes like mouth wash.
This one doesn’t seem quite so weird, but it is included because these cookies use peanut butter as the main ingredient – there is no flour at all. The cookies are a mix of peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. You can even throw in a handful of chocolate chips if you wish. The resulting cookies are amazingly tasty and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. You can read the full recipe here, which is also the source of the image above. The site is my sister’s, so check out the other articles too!
While it doesn’t happen quite so often to us adults, children often end up with gum in their hair. This would normally be followed up by a lot of tugging and pulling with a comb to remove it, and the eventual chopping of the locks. But what most people don’t realize, is that peanut butter is a perfect “gum remover” – not only will it remove gum from hair, but it will remove it from carpet and any other object that is tainted with the chewy stuff. Just rub some peanut butter into the gum and you can wipe the whole mess off with a cloth.
Believe it or not, peanut butter makes a great shaving gel. Just apply it like you would apply the gel, and shave as normal. It works just as well and anyone that has bought a container of shaving gel will know, it is a hell of a lot cheaper. The end result is a very smooth shave and, as a bonus, the oils in the peanut butter are very good for your skin, so you don’t need to spend even more money on moisturizer for your legs or face. You might want to remember to use smooth peanut butter though – the chunky stuff doesn’t work quite as well.
For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at http://listverse.com/2009/03/01/top-10-unusual-uses-for-peanut-butter/
Wednesday, 01 August 2012
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
(NaturalNews) Consumption of nuts has been largely maligned by mainstream health professionals and the media for decades due to the high calorie and fat content. As we enter an era of enlightened understanding about the role of dietary fats and macronutrients in the promotion or degradation of health and weight management, forward-thinking scientists and practitioners rely on extensive research demonstrating the importance of healthy fats in their natural state to prevent heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.
Researchers publishing the result of their work in theJournal of the American College of Nutritionhave found that eating tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) was associated with higher levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (good HDL cholesterol) and lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation which can lead to a variety of chronic diseases including heart disease.
Tree nuts shown to lower chronic disease risk and help prevent obesity
Lead study author, Dr. Carol O'Neil from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center also observed"One of the more interesting findings was the fact that tree nut consumers had lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to non-consumers."The scientists determined that those consuming tree nuts as part of their regular diet averaged slightly over four pounds lower body weight or nearly one inch smaller waist circumference.
The study centered on a cohort of 13,292 men and women participating in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Tree nut consumers were defined as those individuals consuming more than one-quarter ounce each day as determined from 24-hour recall data and questionnaires.
Tree nut consumption was associated with a 5 percent lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors known to increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type II diabetes. Researchers further noted that the nut-consuming group exhibited a lower prevalence of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels and low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels.
Tree nuts consist of largely monounsaturated fats that are known to promote heart health, and have been shown to be of critical importance for optimal brain function. Dr. O'Neil concluded"Tree nuts should be an integral part of a healthy diet and encouraged by health professionals."Nutritionists recommend eating 1 ounce or more each day of raw, unheated, non-salted tree nuts to lower chronic disease risk and assist weight management goals.
Monday, 30 April 2012
Not sure what to do this summer? Road Trip down Route 66 in OK! Make sure to pay us a visit!
Get your kicks on more than 400 miles of Route 66 in Oklahoma. The nation's longest driveable stretch of Route 66 cuts through Oklahoma, making its way past charming towns, roadside diners and quirky attractions. Experience Oklahoma City, Tulsa and authentic hometowns along the Mother Road where you'll meet friendly people and find unique shopping and dining opportunities.
Several state-of-the-art museums pay tribute to America's Main Street including the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, the National Transportation and Route 66 Museum in Elk City and the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler. You'll also find gems like the Vintage Iron Rt. 66 Museum celebrating the history of the motorcycle and the exquisite Coleman Theatre filled with Vaudeville history.
Take a nostalgic ride on Route 66 and let the golden age of the road whisper to you through brightly colored neon signs, quaint motels, drive-in movie theaters and friendly small towns in Oklahoma. Order our free guide to Route 66 to get started planning your ultimate road trip.
For more information on this topic, please visit the source of this article at http://www.travelok.com/Route_66?CMP=KNC-Nat_Google10_Route66
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Surprise your family and friends with this delicious candy. These Easter candies are so delicious and so rich!
Chocolate Fruit & Nut Easter Egg Candy Recipe
Recipe Type: Candy, Chocolate, Maraschino Cherries
Yields: 48 small candies
Prep time: 45 min
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces light or regular cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
1/4 cup (4 ounces) Maraschino Cherries, drained well and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely-chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips*
* Use a good-quality chocolate chips. The taste and quality of your can is dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until well mixed. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.
Either stir in or use your bread kneading blade of your electric mixer to add the chopped cherries, pecans, and coconut. Knead the mixture until it is well blended. It should be easy to handle and shape, and not very sticky. If needed add additional powdered sugar.
Use the palms of your hand to roll small amounts of the candy into an egg shape. NOTE: The amount of candy you use depends on the size and number of candy eggs that you want to make. Use additional powdered sugar to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. NOTE: If the mixture gets too soft to mold easily, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Place the candy egg shapes on a wax paper, parchment paper, or Silicone Baking Mat lined cookie sheets. Refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler (see below).
Double Boiler: In the top of a double boiler over hot water, not boiling water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, melt chocolate; stirring until smooth. Be careful boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate which can result in "seizing," when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy. If you don't have a double boiler you can improvise one by placing a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, I turn the heat to low and leave on the burner while dipping. This keeps the chocolate from setting up to soon.
Remove the prepared candy eggs from your refrigerator. Dip each candy egg in the melted chocolate to coat, then lay on either wax paper, parchment paper, or Silicone Baking Mat lined cookie sheet and allow the chocolate to harden. TIP: Using a toothpick to hold the balls, dip each ball into chocolate mixture to coat; place onto wax paper to harden. If the candy eggs start getting too soft to cover with chocolate, place them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes before proceeding.
If desired, you may decorate your chocolate eggs with pastel colored sprinkles found in the cake/decorating section at the grocery store.
Makes approximately 48 small Chocolate Easter Egg Candies.
For more information please visit the source of this article at http://whatscookingamerica.net/Candy/EasterCandy_FruitNut.htm
Sunday, 04 March 2012
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, lets talk about Pistachios!
Hungry? Choose pistachios. Among nuts, pistachios are one of the most nutritious. A one-ounce serving of pistachios, with 49 kernels and 170 calories, gives you a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients.
A Victory for Vitamins and Minerals
Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese; important vitamins and minerals for the body. The little nut also provides potassium and is a good source of phophorus and magnesium.
Pistachios are antioxidant powerhouses, which is great for helping to fight against free radicals. In a USDA study, pistachios were placed in the group with the highest antioxidant capacity, as compared to over 100 different foods.
Most Americans aren’t getting enough fiber. Luckily, a snack of crunchy pistachios can provide three grams of dietary fiber, or about 12% of the recommended daily value. That’s about the same amount as in a serving of oatmeal!
For more information about this topic. visit the source of this article at http://pistachiohealth.com/consumer/nutrition
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
|Some interesting facts about Nuts
Each nut bears its own distinctive flavor, as well as a unique history that often dates back to biblical times and beyond.
1. Peanuts: Originating in Brazil and Peru and introduced to America by early explorers, the peanut is primarily grown in China, West Africa and the United States. Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma are our key producing states, with Suffolk, Virginia laying claim to being the peanut capital of the world. Peanuts vary in size and variety. Azar Nut Company uses mainly the top of the line Virginia peanut, which is larger than the Georgia runner variety.
Spanish Peanuts are grown in Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma. Azar uses the Texas grown Spanish peanut because the skin on this variety is sweeter than those grown in the East.
The peanut is the only nut grown underground. Americans consume 3,750,000 pounds of peanuts daily in all forms including confections, bakery items, soups, desserts, ice cream and mixed nuts.
2. Pecans: This truly American nut is principally grown in the Southern and Southwestern United States, and in the countries of Mexico, Israel and South Africa. While Georgia is the “pecan state capital of the world,” the Southwest part of Texas (around El Paso) grows the “Cadillac” of the pecan varieties known as the Western Schley. Pecans range in color from a light golden color to a darker amber color.
The wild forest pecan tree is known as the Seedling pecan. A major crop of these nuts is produced in alternative years, due to faulty pollination every other year. Both cultivated and seedling pecans are harvested in late October and November. Cultivated pecans have a “paper-shell” which have a meatier kernel inside of a shell that is easier to crack.
Crop sizes vary from year to year, with the largest in recent years, U.S. crop being 376,000,000 pounds (in shell) in 1963, and the smallest U.S. crop being 75,300,000 pounds (in shell) in 1962. Approximately 20% of the total pecan crop are sold in the shell to consumers. Bakers (25%), retailers (16%) and ice cream manufacturers (5%) primarily use the total crop.
3. Almonds: Almonds have been eaten plain and candied since they were introduced into Roman life. Native to the Mediterranean countries, the almond was introduced to America from Spain in 1769. California is the almond capital with over 110,000 acres of almond trees. Harvested in September each year, almonds are grown on trees resembling peach trees. Almonds have several gradings depending upon their cut (whole, sliced, slivered) and whether they are natural or blanched.
Historically, almonds are mentioned 73 times in the Old Testament, and the branch of the almond tree was used as the staff of the Pope. Almonds are used in confections, mixed nuts, baking and various desserts.
4. Cashews: Native to Brazil and the West Indies, the cashew is chiefly grown in India, Brazil, East Africa, Mozambique and Kenya. The United States consumes over 90% of the world’s cashew crop. While the macadamia is considered the “Rolls Royce” of the nut family, the cashew certainly can be called the “Cadillac” of the nuts.
The cashew is a low-growing evergreen bearing flowers, which grow in clusters at the end of its branches. The flower changes into a bright orange or yellow, pear-shaped, edible fruit called a cashew apple. Attached to the base of the fruit is the olive-colored, kidney-shaped nut, which ripens two months after flowering. The nut is encased in a leathery double-shell, between the layers of which is a honey-comb like membrane containing a powerful oil, which may irritate and burn the skin, but protects the nut from insects. This oil is driven off when roasted to make the shell easier to remove. Cashews are used in confections, cakes, cookies and snack mixes.
5. Filberts: Known as hazelnuts or cobnuts, filberts are grown in Turkey, Iran, Spain and the United States. Early settlers introduced the filbert to America in the 1600’s. Filberts are acid forming in the body, which aids normalizing the metabolism. Azar Nut Company uses the blanched filbert for packaging. They are quite popular in main dishes, desserts, salads and confections.
6. Walnuts: The California walnut is a descendant of the Persian walnut. Native to Persia, the Greeks called the walnut “the nut of Jupiter,” fit for the gods. California is the major growing area of walnuts in the United States, along with France, Italy, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Romania, China and India.
The walnut tree is very hardy and is 15 years old before reaching full production. The average tree produces for 45 years. California has over 122,000 acres of walnuts. Walnuts are high in unsaturated, fatty acids, iron and B vitamins. The oil in walnuts has a tendency to absorb strong odors, and they should be kept in cold storage. Primarily manufacturers of syrup toppings, ice cream, candy, casseroles and baking products use walnuts.
7. Black Walnuts: The black walnut is often considered the national tree of America. Like the pecan, black walnuts belong to the hickory family. California is the major supply area of black walnuts in the United States. In Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, black walnuts grow wild, and production in this area is declining. The strong, nutty taste of black walnuts is not lost in cooking, and therefore, is ideal for cooking, baking, candies and ice cream making.
8. Sunflower Seeds: The major growing regions in sunflower seeds are the upper midwestern states of Minnesota and North Dakota. Although the crop size is relatively small, it is stable. Sunflower kernels are becoming more popular as a condiment in salad bars and as a snack item.
9. Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are grown in the Amazon area. The Brazil nut trees grow to a height of 150 feet and have a trunk diameter of nearly eight feet. The three to four pound pods of Brazil nuts fall to the ground when ripe, which makes gathering them a very dangerous occupation. Inside each pod, sectioned like grapefruit lie 12 to 20 seeds. Called the “king of nuts,” the Brazil nut is extremely high in oil and is primarily used in mixed nuts and candies.
10. Pistachios: Ninety percent of all pistachios are grown in Turkey and Iran, with Italy, Afghanistan and the United States (California) making up the remainder of the crop. Pistachios thrive in hilly or mountainous regions with poor, stony soils. They grow in heavy, grape-like clusters from trees that reach a height of 25 to 30 feet. The tree produces for about 300 years. The nut cracks spontaneously when it is ripe. Legend has it that the pistachio tree is the symbol of happiness and plenty for lovers, who meet beneath its branches on moonlit nights, and it was the favorite of the Queen of Sheba. Pistachios are used in mixed nuts, main dishes, ice cream making and for general snackery.
11. Macadamias: The macadamia, originating in Australia, was discovered around 1857, but was not harvested until the 1930's. The macadamia is one of the most rare nuts, and with their superb flavor-so very rich and so buttery, it is cherished as a rare and special delicacy. Macadamias nuts are grown and harvested in Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, Peru and Bolivia. The nut thrives in tropical climates. The delicious and versatile macadamia is more than just a snack; it provides a perfect compliment to dozens of main dishes. You can't beat the taste!
Definitions: Blanched – the process of removing the fine skin from the nutmeat.
Nut Meat – same as nut kernel, the edible meat of the nut.
For more fun facts, visit the source of this article at http://www.azarnutco.com/default.aspx?tabid=152
Sunday, 08 January 2012
Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
Eating nuts helps your heart. Discover how walnuts, almonds and other nuts help lower your cholesterol when eaten as part of a balanced diet.
By Mayo Clinic staff
Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They're inexpensive, easy to store and easy to take with you to work or school.
The type of nut you eat isn't that important, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts — you name it — almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. If you have heart disease, eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you more easily follow a heart-healthy diet.
Can eating nuts help your heart?
People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the LDL, low-density lipoprotein or "bad," cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Eating nuts reduces your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also improve the health of the lining of your arteries. The evidence for the heart-healthy benefits of nuts isn't rock solid — the Food and Drug Administration only allows food companies to say evidence "suggests but does not prove" that eating nuts reduces heart disease risk.
What's in nuts that's thought to be heart healthy?
Although it varies by nut, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances:
- Unsaturated fats. It's not entirely clear why, but it's thought that the "good" fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber also makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing diabetes.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
- Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
- L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.
What amount of nuts is considered healthy?
Nuts contain a lot of fat; as much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it's still a lot of calories. That's why you should eat nuts in moderation. Ideally, you should use nuts as a substitute for saturated fats, such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products.
Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. But again, do this as part of a heart-healthy diet. Just eating nuts and not cutting back on saturated fats found in many dairy and meat products won't do your heart any good.
Does it matter what kind of nuts you eat?
Possibly. Most nuts appear to be generally healthy, though some more so than others. Walnuts are one of the best-studied nuts, and it's been shown they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans are other nuts that appear to be quite heart healthy. Even peanuts — which are technically not a nut, but a legume, like beans — seem to be relatively healthy. Coconut, which is technically a fruit, may be considered by some to be a nut, but it doesn't seem to have heart-healthy benefits. Both coconut meat and oil don't have the benefits of the mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Keep in mind, you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they're covered with chocolate, sugar or salt.
Here's some nutrition information on common types of nuts. All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts.
*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because the fat value may also include some nonfatty acid material, such as sugars or phosphates.
How about nut oils? Are they healthy, too?
Nut oils are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, but they lack the fiber found in whole nuts. Walnut oil is the highest in omega-3s. Nut oils contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats. Consider using nut oils in homemade salad dressing or in cooking. When cooking with nut oils, remember that they respond differently to heat than do vegetable oils. Nut oil, if overheated, can become bitter. Just like with nuts, use nut oil in moderation, as the oils are high in fat and calories.
For more information on this topic visit the source of this article at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nuts/HB00085
Tuesday, 06 December 2011
HISTORY OF NUTCRACKERS….
Nuts have been a significant part of the food supply since the beginning of time, and over the years, man has created ingenious ways to open the shells.
Excavations of early civilizations have revealed nutshells that were probably broken by stones when too hard for the teeth to crack. Pitted stones used for cracking nuts have been found in various parts of the United States and Europe and have been dated back to the Archaic Period, 4,000 to 8,000 years ago. These nomadic peoples would camp near the nut trees when it was time for the nuts to fall. Kernels were eaten whole or ground to make flour or nut butters.
The oldest known metal nutcracker dates to the third or fourth century B.C. and is shown in a museum in Tarent, Italy. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum shows a bronze Roman nutcracker dated between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. It was found in 1960 after being buried for over 1800 years.
Iron lever nutcrackers are shown in the Ironworks Museum in Rouen, France with some dating back to the 13thcentury, and brass nutcrackers are known to have existed in the 14th and 15th century. At first these metal nutcrackers were hand wrought, but in later centuries, hot metals were poured into molds. England became famous for its brass production and produced many nutcracker styles, and the United States was known for its cast iron products.
The first wooden nutcrackers were simply two pieces of wood fastened together by a leather strap or metal hinge. By the 15th and 16th century, wood carvers in France and England were creating beautiful wooden nutcrackers. They used the wood from their locality, but preferred boxwood because of its fine grain and uniform color. Many of these delicately carved nutcrackers can be seen in the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.
By the 18th and 19th Centuries carvers in Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy were producing many carved nutcrackers in the likeness of animals and humans.
The screw nutcrackers did not appear until the 17th century and at first these were simple in structure. However, it was not long before artisans were carving and shaping intricate designs.
Standing wooden nutcrackers in the form of soldiers and kings wereshown in the Sonneberg and Erzgebirge regions of Germany by 1800 and in 1830, the term “Nussknacker” appeared in the dictionary of the Brothers Grim. It was defined as “often in the form of a misshaped little man, in whose mouth the nut, by means of a leaver or screw, is cracked open”. In 1872 Wilhelm Füchtner, known as the “father of the nutcracker,” made the first commercial production of nutcrackers using the lathe to create many of the same design. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum shows an 1880 miner of Wilhelm Füchtner along with a miner presently made in the Füchtner family workshops.
Today many wooden toy soldier nutcrackers are manufactured in Germany to meet the demands of the many collectors in the United States. This interest is renewed each year by the many productions of the Nutcracker Ballet. Collectors can now find designs in the characters from the ballet as well as hundreds of other designs.
Few nutcrackers have been produced in fragile materials such as ivory, bone and porcelain that still exist today, but some can be seen in the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.
Many factors have contributed to the evolution of the nutcracker’s form, functionality and character….the availability of materials, advances in production techniques, styles of the times, consumer demand, and even changes in the nuts themselves. A study of nutcrackers is a study of history itself as they reflect the cultural values and innovations of the place and time of origin.
For more information regarding this topic visit the source of this article at http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/history.htm
Nutopia Nuts 'N More
539 N Arapaho Ave
Hydro, OK 73048
Phone: 405-663-2330 or 877-IGONUTS (877-446-6887)
Nutopia Nuts N' More, formerly Johnson Peanut Company, has been serving Oklahoma and travelers on the historic Route 66 since 1942. In addition to peanuts, cashews, pecans, natural spanish peanut butter, candy and chocolates, we also offer assorted nut gift baskets and a corporate gift giving program. We are located in Hydro, OK but if you are not in the area you may also buy nuts online and experience why people come from all over the world for Nutopia Nuts.