I cannot believe I am even going to admit this… but I’ve had a love hate relationship with nuts my whole life. I feel like its almost blasphemous to confess – but its true.
When I was in elementary school – my mom would send me to school almost everyday with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gosh, what I wouldn’t do to have a brown paper sack show up on my table right now with a glorious PB&J… but back then I ate it almost everyday. I am assuming it was a lunch staple because it was quick to make and since both my mom and dad were working parents there wasn’t much time to take food orders in the morning. So here I was – in first grade – with the predictable PB&J and I happened to get sick and throw up my whole sandwich… I know gross. But – you know how once you get sick off a food it’s REALLY hard to eat it again? That’s exactly what happened.
Nuts never really made an entrance back in my life until I married my husband. Besides fries, I think peanut butter is my hubbies favorite food. Whether he’s scarfing down a peanut butter wrap, popping Reeses Pieces in his mouth, or taking a big ‘ol spoon of PB from the jar – he finds a way to eat it. I remember always thinking, “what the heck is the big deal about peanut butter” until I started doing bodybuilding shows and almond butter appeared on my “eat list”. Almond butter?! Ok – coaches orders! So there I was, scooping 2 tablespoons of creamy goodness into my protein shakes a day – I was HOOKED! Then come competition time, that same amazing nut butter showed up on my “do not eat list”. WHAT!? No almond or peanut butter? For 4 weeks!? How can this be??? And that’s how my love hate relationship with nuts started.
Since I’m not doing any shows in the near future – you better believe I am back on the nut wagon. And what better day to get a little nutty than National Nut Day? I don’t care if it’s some made up celebratory day… I’m going with it. Here are a few of my favorite ways to eat nuts:
- Grab a handful!
- Make a single serving trail mix: 1 oz almonds, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 ounce dark chocolate, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
- Sprinkle some nuts in your yogurt!
- Blend a tablespoon or two in your favorite protein shake. Try my “strawberry milkshake” recipe!
- Make some bomb flourless chocolate chip cookies. Try this recipe over on The View from Great Island’s blog!
- Make your own almond butter! All it takes is a food processor!
- Don’t forget about your doggie! They love homemade almond butter treats.
For the record, my favorite nut butter is Barney’s Almond Butter. It is 100% creamy and has no grittiness to the mixture. I want to hear what your favorite nutty treat is – share in the comments below! And take my survey! I want to know – do you prefer almond butter or nut butter?