I was in Trader Joe’s the other day doing a quick shopping with The Dude. He’s been a little picky lately with what he’ll eat in his lunch. Things that he would usually always eat, like squeezy apple sauces, are coming home uneaten. Both my kids eat about 80% paleo if I had to estimate, but I do try to keep them pretty darn to close to 100% gluten-free. I notice that they either don’t feel well, don’t behave well, or generally aren’t themselves when we let them eat gluten. But this can be very difficult when eating out, at a friend’s house, or at birthday parties. At an effort to give The Dude the freedom to pick his own snacks and food for lunch, I simply asked him what he would eat. We were in the nut and dried fruit section when he spotted some pecans. He immediately grabbed them and reminded me of the roasted pumpkin nuts I bought over the summer at our town’s farmers market with his sister. There was a specialty vendor selling all types of flavored nuts so I bought a small (expensive) bag of roasted pumpkin pecans for them. I was delighted that they both loved the pecans. Up until that point I could only get them to eat almonds and peanut butter. Even cashews are more miss than hit with them.
As much as I love all kinds of nuts, I don’t overdo it. I try not to have nuts every day, and when I do eat them, I have one serving which is about 1 ounce. Nuts are a great quick source of dense calories, they are portable, and tasty. However, nuts are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s), especially omega-6′s. The average SAD (standard American diet) has no problem with omega-6 intake. It’s the omega-3′s we are looking to increase so that we can balance out with a 1:1 ratio of omega 6′s to omega 3′s. I personally take Carlson’s Fish Oil (and I give it to my kids) to ensure that we are getting enough omega 3′s. I also take a Vitamin D supplement (along with the kids) daily. Another reason why eating a boat load of nuts is not the best idea is due to the large amounts of food toxins in them-the same food toxins that are found in grains and legumes are found in nuts. Phytic acid binds to minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, & chromium in our GI tract. Since we don’t produce enough phytase (the enzyme needed to digest phytic acid), the bound minerals are not absorbed and we can develop deficiencies. ( source ) All I know is that if I eat a lot of nuts I don’t feel as well as I should. My stomach gets bloated and I just feel blah. I suppose I could get into soaking them for 18 hours, then dehydrating and roasting them. But honestly that is just too much work. I would rather just eat a small portion in moderation.
Roasted Pumpkin Spice Pecans
16 oz. Pecans
Pumpkin roasted pecans
2 egg whites
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp. maple syrup
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a whisk until frothy. Mix in pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.
Pour pecans into egg white mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Spread pecans out in an even layer on a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.