Nuts come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. After growing up consuming solely Jif peanut butter, my appreciation for nuts slowly began to expand as I discovered all of the diverse ways to incorporate nuts into meals.
Here are 10 reasons why everyone should be nuts for nuts (unless you have a nut allergy, of course):
1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
The satisfaction of eating a traditional gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwich is hard to beat. When in doubt, go for this childhood staple.
Or if you’re feeling creative, try 6 Ways to Eat Peanut Butter and Jelly Without Bread.
2. Raw Nuts
Raw nuts are a quick, satisfying and tasty snack. In the proper portions, they provide the just the right amount of healthy fats and oils.
Nuts in their raw form are also useful in providing important vitamins, macronutrients and have other health benefits.
3. Trail Mix
Trail mix, whether it’s store-bought or DIY, accounts for way more of my diet than it should. With its mix of saltiness, sweetness, crunch, chocolate, fruit and other flavors, trail mix is sure to satisfy your every craving.
My personal favorite trail mix is Double Feature from Whole Foods. I just avoid the fact that a serving size is ¼ cup.
4. Nut Bars
Nuts bars not only fit the college student budget, but are also ideal on-the-go snacks for class and the library.
Kind bars come in a variety of flavors and are commonly found in Starbucks, other cafes and most grocery stores. Bonus: they even have gluten free options. Make your own Kind bars with this nutritious at home recipe.
5. Nut Butter
Sometimes nothing compares to a simple spoonful of nut butter. Whether your spoonful consists of peanut butter, maple almond butter, cashew butter, chocolate peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, crunchy or even creamy, you will never be dissatisfied.
The varieties of nut butters are numerous and equally delicious. Personal favorite: The Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter from Pb & Co. Use caution, this stuff is dangerous.
6. Nutty Toppings
Different varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans make awesome additions or toppings for many cooking possibilities, from gooey desserts to nut-encrusted entrees.
7. Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Peanut butter ice cream is one of my biggest weaknesses. It mixes perfectly with all flavors and toppings and, let’s be real, it’s a nice change from plain vanilla or chocolate.
*Cough Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Core flavors.*
8. Peanut Butter on Eggo Waffles or Toast
Peanut butter on whole wheat Eggo waffles or toast is a cheap and quick way to make a balanced breakfast to get your day jump-started.
For those of you with a nut allergy but still appreciate a nourishing breakfast, here are some ideas for a few nut-free easy breakfasts.
9. Pre- Or Post-Workout Nut Butter Snack
With protein and fats from the nut butter and carbohydrates from the fruit, peanut or almond butter on a fruit makes is the perfect pre- or post-workout fuel.
For more on what to eat after your sweat session, 9 Foods to Eat After a Workout has great nut-free ideas.
10. Peanut Butter With Any Junk Food
Peanut butter specifically makes junk food, or any food in general, that much better. I’m talking Oreos, pretzels, oatmeal, brownies or even carrots.
Next time you decide to indulge and make slutty brownies, try adding peanut butter.
For those of you with a nut allergy, I sincerely apologize and hope that doctors find a cure soon. But hey, at least (I hope) you’re not allergic to chocolate too, right?
Still looking for more things nutty?