In a recent blog we talked about the goodness of hazel nuts. We even used hazelnuts to make some reasonably healthy homemade Nutella! If you think about it, Hazelnut and Acorn could be twins.
If an acorn has enough power under its little cap to sprout a giant oak tree, just think what if could do for you if you were to eat it! It’s not a secret. Even as long ago as the early days of the wild west, folks knew the power inside those tough little shells. Cowboys like the Lone Ranger, taught by his Native American partner Tonto, grew strong on acorns. They used acorn meal as flour, as an ingredient in mush, or pounded with meat, fat, and berries to make pemmican.
But there’s a catch. All the goodness of acorns is hidden behind an enemy known as Tannin. Our forefathers put their crop of dried, shelled and ground acorns in bags and left them for days in a swift-running stream. This process washed the harmful tannins away. A faster way is to boil the nuts, toss the darkened water containing the tannins away, replace it with fresh water, and continue until the water remains clear. Tannins can ruin your kidneys if you’re not careful.
Maybe that’s why acorns are not so popular these days. They’re just too much trouble, when there are lots of other great-tasting nuts around for the taking. Acorn’s twin, Hazel Nut, is a good example.
But there are so many more. Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, and even the lowly peanuts are only a few of the delicious and healthy nuts we can find by going to our neighborhood grocery store. There we can get them in the shell or out, plain or roasted, salted or spiced, whole, sliced or ground, or, best of all… made into nut butter.
Did you know? Breaking news… Nuts and seeds are one of nature’s belly fat killers. Adding these to your diet is a great strategy.
Just remember… all good things in moderation. Nuts pack lots of nutrients but at the same time provide a lot of calories ounce for ounce. I say keep the serving size down to a handful a day, and live long and prosper.
Happy Trails Snack Mix (Listen to the song while you mix this up )
Good cowboys and cowgirls need a little something to tide them over as they ride the range. Trail mix is much better for you than dastardly useless chips (or “crisps” as they’re known in the UK). For those times when hunger pangs strike, mix together 1/4 cup of any of these things you have in your pantry:
dried apricots, dates and/or mangos, chopped
any other nut, seed, or dried fruit you have in your cupboard…
For every five ingredients, you can add 1/4 cup chocolate chips, if you really have to. It’s probably better to leave them out, but if you use them, choose DARK chocolate. The dark stuff contains antioxidants (cancer fighters). You may as well get some benefit from your sugar hit.
Eat a handful whenever you feel weak from hunger and your next meal is more than a half hour away.