Tag Archives: lentils

Almonds: A Healthy, Naturally Gluten Free Snack

When you live with food restrictions it doesn’t take many times being caught away from home without something you can eat to learn you need to carry at least a snack.  There are gluten free “nutrition bars” available now, but I prefer to turn to Mother Nature for my snacks. One of my favorites is almonds.

Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the same type of fats found in olive oil which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. The oils in almonds can go rancid so storing them in the refrigerator or freezer is always a good idea.

Almonds are also a great source of vitamin E and a good source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber and contain more calcium than any other nut. They are high in protein (about 18%) and contain basically no carbohydrates making them a good snack for people with blood sugar issues. I have used almonds for this purpose for years.

I buy nuts and seeds raw.  Roast your own almonds in a 160 – 170 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t want to destroy those good oils, so not too high with the heat.

I repackage my almonds into single servings.   A serving of almonds is around 20-23 nuts.   A single serving of almonds in a mint tin, or a small plastic bag will fit comfortably in your pocket.

Visit the consumer website of the California Almond Board for more information and recipes using almonds.

 

Healthy Living A to Z: L is for Lentils

Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

Lentils are legumes and come in varieties which cook to different consistencies. They are an ancient food, mentioned in the Bible and are naturally gluten free.

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse but often overlooked. Seen as “poverty food,” in this case low cost means high nutrition. High in protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories, they are also rich in folate, manganese, protein, iron, phosphorus and copper and are a complete protein. Evidence suggests lentils help lower cholesterol due to high fiber content and help control blood sugar. However, if you have gout, kidney stones or other conditions related to uric acid, talk to your doctor before eating lentils.

Lentils do not have to be soaked before cooking. With a mild flavor, they can slip into a dish unnoticed or be seasoned as desired. They may be used to thicken sauces, as an extender in meatloaf, as a one dish meal with veggies, tomatoes and onions, as veggie burger or loaf and of course in soup.

Some seasonings such as salt and vinegar may interfere with the cooking process.” No one wants crunchy lentils so season after cooking.

Spend some time getting to know lentils. They are a nice legume to have around.