Go Nuts This Fall! Tree nuts Add Flavor and Interest to Your Favorite Dishes

DAVIS, CA, September 20, 2005 – An important element of many of the world’s cuisines for centuries, tree nuts—almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts—offer an array of delicious flavors and textures that work well with a variety of dishes, or on their own as a snack.

Tree nuts contain important nutrients like fiber, vitamins such as niacin, folic acid and vitamins E and B6, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.  They can serve as an important source of protein too. And, tree nuts provide a number of important phytochemicals, or plant compounds, that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.

While nuts are relatively high in fat, it is primarily unsaturated.  More than 40 studies have shown that including nuts in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.  As a result, the Food and Drug Administration approved one of the first qualified health claims for nuts and heart disease: “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

As with most foods, portion control is important.  “Nuts tend to be filling, so a single 1½-ounce serving is quite satisfying and can help with weight control,” states Maureen Ternus, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian and Nutrition Coordinator for the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation.  “Since tree nuts have such rich and complex flavors, they can be enjoyed as a snack or throughout the day in main dishes or sprinkled on yogurt, salads, soups or pasta.”

So if you’re entertaining, or want to give a new twist to a favorite dish, add some mixed tree nuts to the menu for a taste that everyone will enjoy.  Our Creamed Butternut, Pear and Nut Soup is a delicious starter before the main course or as a meal in itself. Adding nuts to this and many other soups provides a wonderful richness and texture as well as nutritional benefits.  It’s the perfect soup for a brisk fall day.

Try our delicious and simple to make Mushroom, Watercress and Ricotta Tarts with Nut Pastry and you’ll no longer want to head to the freezer for packaged pastry!  These tarts are the ideal snack, appetizer or entree and are great filled with just about anything—try shrimp, cooked chicken, asparagus, tomatoes or your favorite vegetables and herbs.