Go Nuts for Healthy Homemade Gifts

Go Nuts for Healthy Homemade Gifts

There may be people in your life that you want to give a simple gift to. Say, the dog walker or the mail carrier? Nothing over the top, but still a token of appreciation and friendship.  Try giving something homemade and healthy this holiday. Make a gift that keeps on giving— in the form of energy!

Roasted nuts are a fantastic choice because they provide options and health benefits. Choose from pecans, almonds, walnuts or even go for a mix.  Although nuts are high in calories, they are a good source of protein. Fun fact: the USDA food guide pyramid puts nuts in the same category as meats and beans because they all provide some of the same nutrients. 

Which nut should you choose? 
Roasted nuts offer a deeper flavor and crispness, but be careful because they can go can go from almost done to well done to overdone in less than a minute.  Keep your eye on your oven as they roast. Most ovens have hot spots, so you want to move the nuts around for even roasting. Nuts on the edges often brown quicker than the nuts in the middle.

Almonds have a bit more vitamin E than walnuts and much more magnesium. However, walnuts stand out as the only nut that has alpha-linolenic acid, the only type of the healthy omega-3 fat you’ll find in a plant-based food. Pecans and hazelnuts are also good sources of vitamin E. If you can’t decide, go with a mix!

Are Nuts Good for You?
Like many things, the answer is yes, but in moderation. Almost 80 percent of the calories in nuts come from fat. Much of the fat is “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, not the “bad” saturated variety found in many meat and dairy products.

Nuts also boast copper, fiber, folate and vitamin E. They even have lots of an amino acid that helps the body relax blood vessels so blood flows easily. 

For easy gifting, place roasted nuts in a new or washed glass mason jar with a tightly sealed lid and tie a gift tag or ribbon around neck of the jar.

Spread healthy holiday cheer with this homemade gift:
2 cups walnut pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried or fresh rosemary
1 handful of dried fruit
Salt to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over walnuts and add rosemary and salt. Toss to coat. Spread the nuts out on the baking sheet and bake for six minutes. Stir and put them back in the oven for a minute or two until the nuts are browned and smell roasted, not burned. Keep a close watch to make sure the nuts don’t scorch. When they’re done, remove them from the oven and immediately transfer them onto a plate or a cool baking sheet. Don’t skip this step! If you cool the nuts on the tray they were baked on, you risk scorching them. Add dried fruit and mix.

Add the finishing touches with the printable gift tag below!


Click to print off this tag or the image to download, print and attach it to the jar!

Nuts have copper, fiber, folate and vitamin E. They even have lots of an amino acid that helps the body relax blood vessels so blood flows easily. Enjoy!