Superfood Irony: The Nut Is Not So Crazy


Nuts are paradoxical and get a bad rap. 

I don’t know about you, but I heard through a long-ago grapevine they were: fattening, constipating and incredibly irritating (for those who have an allergy to these little protein powerhouses, understandably all bets are off).  I’ve come to determine they are simply misunderstood and often misused (sure, if I scarf down a marvelous bowl of nuts practically every day, there’s certainty that my midsection will eventually plump and curve like a cashew).  If understood and consumed in moderation, these protein jewels can be really beneficial and nutritionally sane.  

Let’s break the nut down without breaking down:

Irony #1: Many “nuts” are truly seeds.

“Say whaaaat?” Yup, when I found this out, you could fit one of the Famiglia size Boho Gems in my mouth because it fell wide open (yours too? - for those of you who already knew this rarely known fact, KUDOS!).  Bottom line, botanical nuts (“true” nuts) do not expel from their origin (shell) and most culinary nuts (seeds) are from the fruit of that specific tree.  Here are my top 3 superfood “seed” saviors I use in the BOHO kitchen dissected in a nutshell:

  • Almonds are from the fruit of the tree.  When we feast upon these popular superfood “nuts”, we are really savoring the pits from that fruit, once they are lodged open and reveal their true nutritive glory.

  • Cashews are from the “false fruit” of the tree native to Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.  Gathered by the Portuguese explorers, (“Obrigado” gentlemen!) many festas ago, and planted this culinary cream color shape-shifter anywhere they darn well felt like, allowing us to enjoy the fruits of their labor to this day. 

  • Pecans originate in Mexico and Southern United States, are an ingredient legend and a baker’s alpha to some of the best pies north of the equator.  Pecans come from the husk of the pecan tree that starts out green and transforms into a cocao like colored brown when mature.  It then fragments and exposes a buttery rich, coveted superfood superstar. 

Nutritionally, all of these little protein wonders share similar benefits EXCEPT… there’s a little caveat:

Irony #2: When you alter the nut, the nut can alter you.

Yes, incredibly so.

In general, nuts offer loads of nutrition, culinary inspiration and protein-source liberation particularly for Vegetarians and Vegans; however, when you apply heat and change the chemistry - from raw to roasted, you’re left with something quite different.

Roasted nuts are exposed to high heat, and the fat contents break down causing free radicals.  This translates to potentially damaging DNA and cells in the body when you scarf down these roasted rebels. Raw is righteous!

Irony #3 Fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat.

Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are found mostly in plants, and it’s these “fatties” that can help improve: cholesterol, inflammation, brain function and can lower risk of cardiovascular disease.  So, I’d think twice about name calling these vanilla toned gems that have so much goodness to give.

I’m so grateful for being nutty, If it wasn’t for these misunderstood darlings, I couldn’t do what I love to do - create BOHO goodness just for YOU.

If you’re curious learning a little more about these superfood wonders, check out my Nutrient Listing and Potential Benefits page.

Oh, P.S…. the peanut is actually a legume…”say whaaaat?”

 Statements regarding dietary benefits have not been evaluated by the F.D.A and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases or health conditions. All opinions written by Bohemian Pantry are just that – opinions.  I’m all about Dharma not Dogma.

Mimmi Fitzgerald