However, while nuts can be considered common in many cuisines worldwide, they are relatively scarce in the South East Asian diet. This is especially true in Malaysia, where nuts are rarely consumed on their own or as a major ingredient in recipes – instead, they are used more decoratively (think almond bits scattered on a cake, or a single cashew adorning a Chinese New Year cookie).
Peanuts are by far more popular in Malaysia, used in the ever popular satay sauce, various kuih, deep fried as a side to nasi lemak, or eaten straight from the shell as a crunchy snack. While many Malaysians think peanuts are part of the “nut” family, they actually fall under a completely different class altogether. Peanuts are legumes, in the same group as beans, peas, and lentils. They grow underground, while nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts and so on grow on trees.
While peanuts are certainly nutritious in their own way, it is a pity that nuts themselves are not more commonly consumed in Malaysia, as they are truly tiny nutrition powerhouses. Nuts in general are a great source of quality protein, heart healthy fats, various vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.
Image source: http://www.allergysf.com/allergy-education/big-8-top-food-allergens/
Compared to peanuts, nuts generally contain:
- Significantly lower amounts of unhealthy saturated fat
- Higher amounts of heart healthy unsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher amounts of dietary fibre
- Higher amounts of Vitamin E and selenium (antioxidants that fight oxidative damage in the body)
- Higher amounts of minerals like iron, copper and magnesium
Research has also consistently shown that eating 1.5 oz (42 g) of nuts daily as part of a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. Talk about a nutrition bargain.
It’s high time we all went nutty for nuts, with all the nutrition they have to offer. Although nuts are infinitely delicious eaten whole, or roasted with exciting flavours for variety, it can sometimes be difficult to incorporate nut pieces into your daily diet – especially if you aren’t used to eating nuts on the regular. But don’t fear – Amazin’ Graze is here…with a solution!
Introducing the newest members of our Amazin’ family – nut butters!
“What’s a nut butter?” I hear you ask. Nut butters are essentially whole nuts that have been ground up to a smooth, creamy consistency. This lends them far more versatility to be seamlessly included into your daily diet or favourite recipes – while still retaining all the nutrition benefits of the nuts themselves. All our Amazin’ Nut Butters (we have 6!) are made from 100% natural nuts, lightly roasted and stone-ground. They have no added salt, refined sugar, or preservatives – making them 100% healthy, and of course, 100% delicious!
The silky smoothness of nut butters makes them ideal to be:
- Spread on toast or crackers
- Swirled into oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt
- Stirred into smoothies
- Spooned on to ice cream or fresh fruit
- Substituted for butter in baked goods
…and so much more! The possibilities are infinite, but one thing’s for sure – eating nuts just got a whole lot more interesting.
Over the next few weeks, we will be going nutty, sharing fun ways to use your nut butters, including cool recipes that you can try at home. In the meantime, visit our store and our FAQ page to get up close and personal with each member of the Amazin’ Nut Butter family – we can’t wait for you to meet them!
We know you’ll love them as much as we do, and before long, you’ll be a Nut Butter Nutter too!