WHEN IS A NUT NOT A “NUT”?…
STRIFE, WHEN IT’S A LEGUME, DRUPE OR SEED!
FOODACEUTICALS: JUST NUTS ABOUT “NUTS”?!
Nuts have to be one of the most marvellous morsels on Earth! Not only do their nutrients and protein help lower high cholesterol but nuts keep us fuller for longer.
It’s what Nature calls our other White Meat! And did you know most of our well-loved edible nuts are actually a type of fruit or seed, only masquerading about as a true nut? Incidentally, true nuts are hard-shelled fruit with a single seed that does not split -this means the seed/fruit are one and the same. Unlike common tree fruits like peaches, the ovary wall is the fleshy outer skin while for nuts the ovary wall is the hard, outer shell.
So, as most ‘mixed nuts packs’ are not actually nuts, this does not mean they will not satisfy our “Fat Tooth”!
1. WEIGHT-WORRIES? ALMONDS SLOWS SUGAR/CARB ABSORPTION!
Yes, it’s true, almonds help to balance-belly- bacteria. Recent research has denoted that eating almonds, particularly almond fat, maybe a great benefit for both our intestines and regulating excess weight because almonds help to slow absorption of sugar/carbs. It happens that almonds are the Almond tree’s seed which is native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almonds they have a long shelf life due to its rich vitamin-E content. And did you know, 40% of the world’s almonds are bought by chocolatiers as they try to make chocolate appear healthier than it is. In fact, chocolate is so very high in sugar that it’s awfully near to being empty calories!
2. BEES ARE BUSY-BODIES ABOUT BRAZIL NUTS!
Brazil nuts are really unusual as its flowers can only be pollinated by large-bodied orchid bees that are strong enough to pry open the flower’s hood and have a large tongues long enough to feast on the nectar within. And as it turns out Brazil nuts are not nuts after all, but like chestnuts, they’re seeds contained in a capsule or pod, which splits apart. Also despite their name, Brazil Nuts mostly come from Bolivia, so we should have called them Bolivia Nuts instead. They grow at the top of tall old trees that can live up to 500 years, packed in round seed pods weighing up to 5kg. So, they’re more closely related to blueberries than they are to walnuts or pecans. And they’re high in selenium, which means Brazil nuts are good brain food.
3. CASHEW’S SHELLS HAVE POISON-IVY ENVY!
Cashews aren’t nuts after all but are actually seeds! They’re the cashew apple drupe (stone fruit) seeds, a poison-ivy family member. The cashew’s shell contains an itchy oil called anacardic acid which is why they’re never sold in their skins. So, be glad cashews are processed! Anacardium refers to the fruit’s shape, which looks like an inverted heart — ana “upwards” + kardion “heart”. But unlike Brazil nuts, cashews really do come from Brazil. And can also be made into a cashew cream as a dairy-free vegan substitute. See the above picture.
4. COCONUTS ARE NOT NUTS!
Another misnomer — coconuts are actually “dry drupes” from the Greek “dryppa”, meaning “tree-ripened”. Drupes are fruit with a fleshy outer coating enclosing a hard shell containing a seed: almonds, walnuts, olives, dates and coffee. The word “coconut” comes from the Spanish word coco, which means “monkey face”. Explorers found a resemblance to a monkey’s face in the three round indented markings found at the base of the coconut. However, if using looser definitions, coconuts qualify as fruits, nuts AND seeds! And while allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts usually can safely eat coconuts. But if you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet." Another curious truth is they contain coconut water, not milk.
The milk is made by grating the flesh into the water and straining it. Fresh coconut water is an excellent hangover cure. As it is completely sterile, full of vitamins and minerals and is isotonic - it has the same human blood salt balance. So, you could survive on a desert island eating and drinking only coconuts!
5. PEANUTS ARE NOT ACTUALLY NUTS…THEY ARE LEGUMES!
The baby peanut said to his grampa “Why are we called Legumes?” …The grampa peanut answered “Cause ain’t no Legs on U or Me!” Most edible nuts, like pecans or hazelnuts, grow on trees. But peanuts grow in pods that mature underground, like lentils and peas. Legumes are plants with seed pods that split in half. They’re an inexpensive, nutritionally dense source of plant protein.
And believe it or not, Legumes may be counted as a vegetable or as a source of protein in both the meat and bean group. And guess what else, they’re also highly allergenic, and exposure (if allergic) can even result in death. The body’s immune system normally fights infection. But, when someone is allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, the immune system overreacts to proteins in these foods. Every time the person eats (or, in some cases, handles) a peanut or tree nut, the body thinks the proteins are harmful invaders. So Peanuts are a sort of pea that grows underground.
6. PECANS ARE APHRODISIACS, RICH IN ZINC & PROTEIN
As nutty as it sounds, both the zinc and protein content help to boost brain pleasure chemicals that heighten sensitivity during sex. And the nut’s aphrodisiac reputation lies in the fact that nuts are complete foods and thus even eating small quantities goes a long way in keeping overall health. Its name pecan is Native Nth American for “nuts requiring a stone to crack”, in other words it is a pretty hard nut to crack.
Pecans are also very rich in anti-oxidants, healthy fat, 19 vitamins and minerals. And as for its trees ironically, they can only produce every two years. Pecans are most famously known as the main ingredient in the pecan pie which was created by the New Orleans French settlers.
7. PINE NUTS ARE FOUND IN PINECONES AND REDUCES HUNGER!
Pine nuts; did you know they are actually the seeds found inside pinecones? To harvest pine nuts, producers must first crack the pine cones, typically with heat. Then, the pine nuts themselves need to be shelled. After shelling, pine nuts have a short shelf life, because of their high oil content. To keep pine nuts from going rancid, you should store them in the fridge or use them quickly. Worried about your weight? Pine nuts help stimulate the hormones that act as appetite suppressants.
They signal the brain to turn off the hungry mode. Thus, slowing down the stomach’s rate of digestion and giving you a feeling of full stomach. Hence the pine nuts nutrition is found to give energy as well as reduce hunger!
8. PISTACHIOS ARE GREEN DUE TO THEIR ANTIOXIDANT CONTENT!
Ever wonder why pistachios are green? They get their green colour from the same pigment- chlorophyll-that lights up spinach and kale. This green (and purple) colour is due to the antioxidants found in the pistachio. Neutralizing those free-radicals is just one more reason to crack open some of these delicious nuts! Thy’re actually seeds of a grape-like fruit. And like other “nuts”, pistachios are a rich source of beneficial substances, including Vitamin-E and carotenes. The desert tree is a cashew family member and not a nut either.
9. WALNUTS ARE THE ONLY “NUT” WITH SUBSTANTIAL OMEGA-3
Walnuts enjoy a distinction like no other they’re the only nut that has omega-3 fatty acids! In fact, one serving has over 100% of your daily omega-3 value. Walnuts are another seed masquerading as a nut. And they’re also drupes. Their name in Old English, walhnutu which means “foreign nut”, because they were introduced from Gaul and needed to be distinguished from the native hazelnut. Walnuts are the oldest known tree food that date back 10,000BC.
THIS MONTH’S FOODACEUTICALS RECIPES
TWO PERFECTLY PLUMP PRAWN RECIPES
Enjoy these two simple, nutritious and indulgent dishes that will delight you & your friends!
GOAN PRAWNS WITH TAMARIND DIPPING SAUCE AND CHILI-LIME MAYO
HOW TO DEVEIN PRAWNS?
15 x 16–18 size raw king prawns deveined with tails on 1 tbsp mirum,
2 tbsp almond milk,
pinch of salt 1 tbsp ground almonds,
3 cloves garlic,
1 medium onion and tomato finely chopped,
1” piece of ginger,
2 slit green chillies and chopped coriander leaves for garnish
For the powdered spices:
10 peppercorns, 1 tsp turmeric powder/cumin and coriander seeds, toasted/ground
Mix all ingredients and marinate prawns for an hour. Grill and serve with tamarind sauce.
TAMARIND DIPPING SAUCE AND JAPANESE CHILI-LIME MAYONNAISE
Mix tamarind paste, cumin powder, mirum and dark cherry jam. Add some chil, lime zest and juice to mayo.
COCONUT PRAWNS WITH SWEET CHILLI DIPPING SAUCE
HOW TO BREAD PRAWNS?
BOWLS OF SEASONED GRAM FLOUR-BEATEN EGGS-SHREDDED COCONUT
15 x 16–18size raw king prawns deveined with tails on Dredge prawns through flour, then egg and lastly the coconut. Repeat until all prawns are coated. Chill until firm, then deep-fry, remove when golden brown.
Serve with sauce.
HOME-MADE SWEET CHILLI DIPPING SAUCE MAKES 125ml skinned green capsicum and tomato,
chopped and deseeded 5 different coloured chillies and 1 garlic clove, both minced finely,
small slash of fish sce small knob of ginger,
125g caster sugar,
pinch of salt and 75ml cold water
Bring to boil sugar and water, then reduce heat to a simmer. Place all other ingredients into sugar mixture and cook for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat until syrup coats the back of a spoon. Add chopped chives & peanuts.