Getting A Little Nuts
CAUTION: This article was manufactured in a facility that also manufactures products containing peanuts and/or tree nuts.
Are you going nuts? If not, you should be because nuts are making a comeback! Long has lived the love for that salty, satisfying snack to accompany a good candy bar or a nice, cold beer during the game, but something in the nut game has changed. They are becoming more popular than ever and for very different reasons.
Back in the late 90’s and the better part of the 2000’s, because of its high fat content, nuts were fated by society as being an unhealthy, guilty pleasure that should only be consumed sparingly (BBC). In the past decade, however, nutritionist and consumers have really started to grow an understanding of and appreciation for “proper” nutrition, especially in relation to nuts and their place in a truly healthy diet. It is becoming common knowledge that it isn’t about trying to cut out fat but rather having good fat. Good fats being monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and villain fats being saturated and hydrogenated fats. Finally, we can start trading out images of those rail-thin, fat free models for a more realistic life size version of beauty and health! So really, how star worthy can nuts possibly be right now?
Of a panel of 500 dieticians, those who are on the front lines of food consumption on a daily basis, 54% say nuts have taken over as one of the top two “superfoods” (Capital Press). Also, according to USDA predictions, tree nuts and fruit are going to propel the sales of horticultural crops to roughly 47% with an expected 2.2% annual increase through 2023 (ANUK). These numbers at first might seem like pretty optimistic predictions, but not when you know who’s backing them. The USDA’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate are both recommending to replace bad fats, such as butter and high-fat red meat, with foods such as vegetable oils, soft spreads, nuts, seeds, and avocados” (Capital Press). Unfortunately, one factor that the USDA may not have considered in their predictive analysis is if people will even be able to get nuts?
Hold on – Nut So Fast
With more than 5 consecutive periods of drought in California, it is hard to tell what our nut future holds. For example, 82% of the worlds almonds, one of the most popular and healthy nuts, are grown in the Golden (and very dry) State. David Phippen, a long time Californian almond grower, says that the reservoir levels are dropping and are at the lowest levels he has ever seen in his lifetime. Even he admits that it is difficult to know how long production can continue at these rates (BBC). Wow, that sounds extreme. How much water do you really need for almonds to grow? A lot! LA Times reports that it actually takes over a gallon of water per almond (water usage of nuts). Yikes, we should be concerned; I guess it’s time to start saving for that Almond Joy! The moral of this story, if you currently or are thinking about including these delicious nibbles in one of your snacks, you might want to consider straying away from almonds and diversifying your nut portfolio. Here is a peak at some of your nutty options and a few of their health benefits.
Health Benefits – Such A Nutty Idea
With more and more people trading in the 3 traditional daily meals for a series of small snacks, it is no wonder why nut intake is on the rise. It is the perfect snack because it is not only packed with a protein punch and filled with much needed nutritious fat, but it is also a snack that helps satisfy cravings. Satisfaction is not only a nut’s strong suit, so is its proven heart disease battling properties. Here are some of the health benefits you might want to leverage when looking into adding nuts to your products.
Nutting But Farewells
It would be nutty not to consider using more of these nutrient packed foods, especially when there has been such a shift in dieting trends. With the addition of snacking, the increase in people following high protein, vegan, and vegetarian diets, and the knowledge of the nutrient packed punch these little guys carry, it only makes sense snack opportunities are coming from this direction. We at Horizon Custom Bakery love to go nuts! Not only do we recognize, all of the benefits mentioned, but the flavors just add a beautiful complexity to many favorite snack time treats. With our nut expert, Sonia, in the kitchen we know how to whip up a mouth-watering nut focused snack, such as: trail mix cookies, breakfast bars, and indulgent desserts. Please let us know if you would like us to get nutty about some desserts for you or your company. Now, go get that jar of Nutella you’ve been dying to have since you started reading this (lol).