Nutty Links

Hey all you nuts!  We heard some pretty interesting stuff about almonds, pecans, walnuts and the rest of the gang lately and we wanted to share it here.  As we thought about past stories to feature, we realized most of them are from the same news site; the research is funded by a variety of sources though.  After reading through these links, you could probably guess what station our car radios are tuned to right now!

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Walnuts improve brain performance!

Apparently a handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away.

If you listen to NPR regularly, you may have heard the story about almonds drain on California’s already stressed water supply. They may use a lot of water, but as others are reporting, per calorie of food produced, using water to raise beef or dairy cattle is less efficient per calorie.

In Texas, groves of wild pecan trees are being cut down and plowed over to make room for specialty pecan orchards that are favored in Chinese markets.  Unfortunately this means the future of the wild pecan tree, which is also the state tree of Texas, is being threatened.

If you’re a sad sufferer of nut allergies, you may live to see a solution. Three cheers for molecular biologists!

As you know, we’re a fan of nut butters, especially homemade nutella.  This nut butter cookbook looks like an intriguing kitchen companion.

We’ll leave you with this delicious looking peanut butter snack cake by one of the cutest cooking bloggers we follow.

Happy Monday!

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Black Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Nuts are our ingredient of the season. You can see our full archive of nut posts here!

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We have the perfect treat to compliment all of the sugar and chocolate that is sure to be passed around this weekend : black walnut shortbread cookies. Sure, shortbread cookies have quite a bit of butter, but a little fat never hurts, and with only a half cup of sugar in this batch, they help to balance those peep and jellybean filled baskets.

Since we’re all about nuts this season, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to talk about walnut varieties. If you’re eating a walnut right now, chances are it’s an English walnut, also known as a common, Persian, and California walnut. That variety is native to the Eastern hemisphere from China through parts of the Middle East (where it’s Persian name comes from), was spread throughout the world on English trading ships (thus the English moniker), and by the 1700s was being grown in groves in California! If you’ve eaten a walnut, it’s likely that it was the milder common walnut rather than the black walnut used in today’s recipe.

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