When it comes to snacks, I’m a crunchy-salty kind of gal. Potato chips, cheese curls, tortilla chips all have graced my snack tray. There’s something so comforting and satisfying about the crunch on the palate, the salt on the lips, and the oily residue on the fingers that these snacks provide.
Sadly, these tasty treats have become a very occasional indulgence, but for my taste, there is still nothing like a salty crunchy snack. What’s a gal to do? Oh, nuts! Really, I mean nuts. In their natural state they are a healthy and satisfying snack. With a little imagination and some mostly healthy ingredients they can become the perfect cure for that salt with crunch craving.
There are many good for you nuts out there that provide healthy fat, fiber, and protein to your diet. They are nutrient dense and their rich taste lets a little go a long way. Right now, I’m sharing a recipe for almonds so lets see what this tasty little seed (it is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree) has to offer.
Twenty three almonds (about an ounce) provides about 160 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. There’s also a generous dose of vitamin E. It boasts many health benefits including aiding in lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and blood sugar. Most of the almonds we eat are grown here so that means you are eating American. The U.S. is the number one producer and California is the epicenter.
Enough about the wonders of almonds, let’s talk about how to make them even tastier. To create the smokey flavor I use a generous dose of sweet smoked paprika. I use a touch of garlic powder and sugar, along with a little salt.The almonds get tossed with some olive oil before the savory ingredients are added.A slow roast in the oven and they’re read to eat.
You can make this as spicy or sweet as you want. I often add some rosemary and a little black pepper, but let your herb and spice preferences be your guide.
How farro will you go to put a healthy and quick meal on the table? A little chicken Italian sausage, some fresh vegetables and a good bit if farro and about 30 minutes and you will be serving dinner with pride.
Once upon a time farro was only found outside of Italy in gourmet restaurants and little Italian markets. You don’t have to go all the way to Italy to get Farro any more. It’s now available in many grocery stores and markets.
This ancient Italian grain is an early form of wheat that has recently become one of the “it” ingredients. There is a lot of confusion about Farro. There are 3 kinds that differ in taste and cooking technique. Farro Medio (a.k.a. emmer) is the most common type. It’s also the easiest to cook. Whatever kind of farro you buy, follow the directions on the package to get the best results. I like my farro on the softer side of toothsome. If you like a chewier bite, experiment with the cooking time until it’s just right.
I’ve been using Meijer Naturals Italian Farro . I cook the whole 8.5 ounce package and use the extras for hot breakfast cereal, salads, or side dishes. Yes, it is that versatile. I love this stuff! I’ve been known to stand in front of the refrigerator eating it cold. Use this recipe as a springboard to you own farro nirvana.