January 30, 2013

Soup to Nuts: Go nuts!

The overexposure of Psy (sigh) continues with his upcoming Super Bowl commercial, but when it comes to Super Sunday snacking options, he has a point.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

6 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon liquid hot sauce

1-1/4 cups coarsely ground pistachios

Spike chicken cubes onto picks. Blend mustard, honey and hot sauce. Dip chicken into mustard mixture, let excess drip off and then dip into ground pistachios.



You're probably already familiar with hazelnuts because of the coffee flavoring and the hazelnuts in chocolate bars and Nutella.

But you don't have to eat them with sugar and caffeine to enjoy them.

There are lots of reasons to add a few hazelnuts to your diet. They contain more proanthocyanidins than any other tree nut. Those are compounds that may help reduce blood clotting and urinary tract infections.

They're also tops among tree nuts in folates, which decrease the risk of neural tube defects and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression.

Like cashews, they are a particularly good source of magnesium, which is good for bone health.

Here are three easy ideas for serving hazelnuts on Super Bowl Sunday, all from the International Tree Nut Council.


Makes 16 servings (2 cups).

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese

1/4 cup currants

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pulse toasted hazelnuts (skin removed), fresh parsley, drained sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of their oil in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Place in medium bowl and stir in cream cheese, currants and red pepper flakes until just blended.

Cover and refrigerate.


Makes 16 servings (2 cups).

1 can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skin removed

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Puree garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), toasted hazelnuts, fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper in food processor until blended.

Cover and refrigerate.


Almonds are actually a fruit, but they have many of the same health benefits as other nuts, including protecting the heart and brain and playing a role in weight management.

Here are a couple of deliciously different ideas from the folks at the Almond Board of California.


A dukkah is a Middle Eastern spice mix used for dipping. It's a much more flavorful snack for Super Bowl Sunday, and better for you than French onion dip. Dip a piece of warm pita bread into some olive oil, then dip the bread into the almond dukkah.

1/4 cup coriander seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 cup prepared dry-roasted almonds

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt

Pita bread or hearty, crusty dipping bread

Olive oil

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Stirring frequently, toast coriander seeds, sesame seeds, peppercorns and fennel seeds until slightly brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool and transfer to a food processor. Add almonds, cumin, thyme and salt. Grind until crumbly; do not allow mixture to become a paste. Serve dukkah in a bowl or plate, along with a bowl or plate of olive oil and bread. Dip bread first in olive oil and then in the dukkah so it adheres to the olive oil.

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