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Roasted nuts: A manly snack

Michelle Locke
Associated Press
Protein-rich and portable, nuts have always been the utility players of the snack world — good for that mid-afternoon energy dip, but generally not the kind of thing to make the crowd go wild.
But with manufacturers introducing spiced up versions of old favorites — Yes, we are talking jalapeno flavored pistachios here — nuts are breaking out of their shell.
“People are going after something new and exciting that helps to wake up your senses,” says Kay Logsdon, editor-in-chief of The Food Channel, which put nuts at No. 4 on its 2010 Top 10 snack trends list.
What’s new in nuts?
In addition to spicier versions, like zesty chili peanuts, you’ll find nuts appearing with new partners, such as caramelized black walnuts with dark chocolate.
Nuts also have benefited from the quest for healthier foods. “People are looking for that whole ‘health halo’,” says Logsdon.
Nuts are relatively high in fat, so you need to keep an eye on portion size to stay in the healthy zone. But the majority of the fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, so-called “good” fats. Meanwhile, nuts can be a source of vitamins, protein and fiber, more than you can say for many snacks.
At Planters, officials are tapping into the nutritional value of their product.
“When it comes to healthy snacks, dads in a way have been left out of the equation,” points out Jason Levine, senior director of marketing for Planters.
From yogurt to 100-calorie packs, there are a number of healthier snacks marketed to women, “but there’s not a lot out there that’s targeted and developed and meant to appeal to men,” he says.
Planters is reducing sodium levels and has developed blends of nuts and dried fruit aimed at providing particular health benefits. The company also is experimenting with bolder flavors, like sea salt and black pepper pistachios.
“We recognize that guys use real spices for grilling and cooking. That’s something that we want to make sure that we deliver,” says Levine.
Online:
Food Channel 2010 Trends: http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/top-ten-snack-trends-2010/
Citrus Herb Pistachios
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Makes 4 cups
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Zest of half a lemon
Zest of half an orange
1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
4 C. unsalted pistachio meats
(no shells)
3 Tbs. butter, melted
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind together the salt, sugar, both zests, and the rosemary and thyme.
Place the pistachios in a medium bowl. Drizzle the butter over the pistachios, then toss to coat. Sprinkle the citrus-herb seasoning mix over the pistachios, then mix until evenly coated. Spread the pistachios in an even layer over the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 199 calories; 147 calories from fat (74 percent of total calories); 16 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 6 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 121 mg sodium.
(Recipe from Alison Ladman)
Smoky Crusted Walnuts
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Makes 4 cups
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 egg white
1 tsp. water
4 C. raw unsalted walnut
halves
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the salt, sugar, smoked paprika, black pepper and cayenne.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with the water until frothy. Stir the walnuts into the egg white until the walnuts are thoroughly and evenly coated. Sprinkle the spiced sugar over the nuts, then mix until evenly coated. Spread the walnuts in an even layer over the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Serve warm or allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 179 calories; 147 calories from fat (82 percent of total calories); 16 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 124 mg sodium.
(Recipe from Alison Ladman)
Sweet Butter-Roasted Almonds
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Makes 4 cups
1/4 C. dark brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 C. raw almonds
1/4 C. (1/2stick) butter,
melted
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together both sugars, the cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, toss the almonds with the butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the almonds, then toss until well coated. Spread the almonds in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Serve warm or allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 250 calories; 184 calories from fat (74 percent of total calories); 21 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 4 g fiber; 61 mg sodium.
(Recipe from Alison Ladman)

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