If you’re looking for more plant-based nutrition, you’ve come to the right place. Nuts supply the body with a beneficial amount of protein, unsaturated fats, fiber and fatty acids. They also lower bad cholesterol and increase the good. Consuming about one-quarter cup every day provides incredible benefits!
Many people eat nuts as they are — straight out of the container without much preparation. They are excellent on their own, but incorporating them into meals helps them reach their full flavor potential. You may desire some more ideas for how to creatively prepare them within a vegan-friendly meal, and thankfully, there are countless methods!
If you need ideas on integrating greater portions of nuts into your meals so you can receive more protein, check out these ideas below. You’ll be a nut connoisseur in no time.
1. Put Them on a Salad
Garnish a salad with almonds, walnuts or cashews. Apples, oranges and pears combine well with these nuts, though you can use any fruit you prefer. Don’t limit yourself to these three nuts, though — the variety you can choose from is vast. If you want to change it up and try something new, go with a nut you haven’t had before.
For further creativity, make a salad dressing from the nuts and pour it on whenever you indulge in some leafy greens.
2. Make a Soup
Peanut soup is a popular dish in West Africa, and you can make it at home with a vegan twist. West Africans typically make this soup with peanut butter, finely chopped peanuts, tomatoes and collard greens. You can substitute collards with any greens of your choosing. This soup is the perfect comfort food for wintery nights or days where you simply need a pick-me-up.
Other soup varieties include chestnut, walnut and hazelnut. You can combine any mix of vegetables in each of these soups to increase the heartiness and taste. Walnut and cauliflower soup with cayenne, parsley and almond milk is sure to be a treat. Alternatively, use cashews in soups and stews in place of cream to create a rich texture.
3. Blend a Smoothie
You can make a smoothie with almond or cashew milk by buying it in the store or making it yourself. You could also use nut butter to increase the thickness of the smoothie. If you already have a recipe you love, try including almond or cashew meal. Not only does it change up the texture, but it also brings a delicious quality.
4. Use Them in Granola
Add whole nuts to your granola for extra crunch or finely chop them depending on what you prefer. Pecans are a suitable substitute for sugar if you’re mindful about your intake. You can also try blanching some almonds and mixing them into your cereal, which will go well with any fruit or seeds. Almonds are a great complement to many foods, and they provide 12% of the recommended daily protein intake in a 1-ounce serving.
Make a healthy bowl by blending açai mix with almond or cashew milk. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top to heighten the flavor.
5. Make on-the-Go Snacks
Nuts are beneficial as they are, but roasting them enhances their natural flavor. Season your nuts with cayenne, cumin or garlic powder and bake them in a 300-degree oven for a healthy snack.
Make a trail mix with your favorite dried fruits and nuts. Trail mix is quick to put together, and you can carry it anywhere for a convenient snack. Store-bought kinds tend to include sweet treats like chocolate, so if you’re cutting down on the sugar, whip up some at home. Examples of foods you can incorporate are apricots, raisins, dates, brazil nuts, peanuts or cashews.
6. Eat Them as a Side
Add nuts as a side to any main dish you make. Roasted nuts are especially useful for this because they provide a unique, wholesome taste. When you buy nuts to use as a side or mix within your meals, you can opt for ones without added seasoning. Unseasoned nuts allow you to make your own flavor combinations and try out ones that work best for you.
Examples of side dishes include macadamia nuts with green beans and roasted vegetables tossed with crushed nuts.
Pack in That Protein
Nuts provide diverse health advantages, which is why you should consider introducing them into your diet more if you haven’t already. Your body and palate will thank you for it.