As I pedal my bike down the Sammamish Trail toward work, it’s all I can do to avoid squashing squirrels as they dart back and forth across the trail, scurrying to gather nuts and seeds to store for winter nibbling. Perhaps we should take advice from these furry friends: Scientific evidence continues to support the many health benefits of nuts and seeds as a part of a well-rounded diet.
An important plant-based protein source, nuts and seeds also contain valuable amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are especially rich in plant sterols and healthy fats – particularly mono- and polyunsaturated varieties. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts) as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. The combination of fiber, protein, and fat (roughly 4 grams of saturated fat for a 1.5 ounce serving) provided satiety to meals and snacks. This can be especially helpful during the holiday season when we’re often busy and on the go. While nuts are healthy, they are also calorically dense. Nuts range from 160-200 calories per ounce. A great option in order to not over spend your daily caloric bank account on a small snack is to substitute nuts and seeds for other foods in your diet, especially for foods higher in saturated fat. While nuts and seeds can easily be lumped into one category, each variety has its own unique nutrition benefits and delicious-ness. (more…)
I was asked by the 21 Acres kitchen team to test out their new gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix that they just started selling in the market and let them know what I thought. I was a little apprehensive since the assumption with gluten-free baking is that it simply is….just not the same. However, these cookies were delicious and absolutely scrumptious, which made it very hard to not eat just one!
I made sure to have both my husband try them, as well as our neighbor so that I could get a well-rounded opinion on them. The opinion was unanimous. They were amazing. My neighbor was surprised that they were gluten-free, since she usually thought gluten-free items are dry and have a bad texture. However, she thought these cookies tasted like a traditional chocolate chip cookie. The only critique my husband had was that the garbanzo bean flour added a different flavor. Not necessarily a bad flavor but unique, in a good way. I loved that not only did they taste good but they also had a great chewy and soft texture, which is what I like in a good chocolate chip cookie.
The pre-made mix is made up of gluten-free flour (garbanzo bean flour, oat flour, millet flour and potato flour), sugar, chocolate chips, baking soda and salt.
The benefits of choosing to make this gluten-free mix are, that not only is it high in protein but it also is high in nutrients.
Here are the instructions, you simply:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the package ingredients with
8 Tbls butter
2 Tbls milk
1 Tbls vanilla
let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 12-14 mins rotating once. Transfer to wire to cool.
Makes about 24 cookies.
When you get a chance, pick up this awesome product from the market and bake up a wonderful batch of cookies to share with your loved ones!
Enjoy! Sam-21 Acres volunteer