This is the time of year I buy nuts in the shell, mainly because I like the look of them in a bowl during the holidays. Good reason, right?
Maybe not, but there is actually a healthy benefit to buying them this way. Simply put, it makes it less likely to polish off massive quantities when there is work involved. How easy it has been for me to go back for another handful of walnuts when they are already conveniently pre-shelled!
But walnuts are good for us, aren’t they? Yes, they most definitely are. They provide healthy fats – in fact they are highest in Omega-3 fats of all nuts – and studies show benefits for vascular health. Still, they are quite dense in calories, and although I do not recommend focusing obsessively on calories, they still do matter. Even the healthiest foods will cause weight gain when we eat too much of them.
So here I am cracking nuts. It’s a lot of work, but I actually enjoy it. It makes my nut snack more of an event than a quick grab-and-go mouthful that is over in a flash. I feel more mindful automatically, simply because each bite takes work! Reminds me of churning ice cream when I was a kid. After all that elbow grease, it just tasted better.
Pomegranates are another healthy “fun food” for me. I recently rediscovered them – don’t think I have had one in years prior to a month ago. Wow, they take some work to get to the juicy seeds! That’s just part of the fun. They squirt all over as I tear them apart, so I have to be careful not to get stains all over my clothes. Again, it is a great attention-getter – you simply must pay attention.
If you have never had one, you will be pleasantly surprised by the fruity taste and crunch of the seeds. Just be sure to wear an apron (or a bib!). Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and lots of health promoting compounds, so eat up!
Here I am working hard to mine out the seeds. I put them in my plain Greek yogurt. You can’t see it, but I just squirted juice all over my shirt. Oh well. It was worth it.