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Share Thursday Tasting At 3 Spreading The Nut Butter Love1


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Thursday Tasting at 3: Spreading the Nut Butter Love

Tahini on sourdough with, honey cinnnamon & sea salt
Tahini on sourdough with, honey cinnnamon & sea salt

Nuts are fantastic for our health. Bite-size nutritional powerhouses, they are packed with heart-healthy fats, fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. With this in mind, this week’s Thursday Tasting at 3 will be looking at a fantastic variant on the single nut… Nut Butter! We love nut butters at Ardkeen Quality Food Store and carry a wide range including some of the best Irish Artisan produced nut butters available like Fiona's Nutterly Nutritious Almond Butter, Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Spread from the Burren Chocolatiers and The Soul of Crete Tahini which is lovingly produced at the foothills of Mount Leinster. 

A dense paste made by crushing nuts, nut butters are really versatile so can be used in a variety of ways to make everything from sandwiches (see that Tahini toast!), cakes (think no bake nut butter cheesecake), dressings (add to any regular dressing) and savoury sauces. Also, an excellent snack if you start to flag during the day, since it provides a quick hit of protein.

Studies show that people who eat nuts benefit from lower cholesterol levels, are satisfied with fewer calories, have increased protection against cancer and better muscle and bone mass with aging. Even though they are high in fat, nuts contain mono and polyunsaturated fats that have been shown in multiple large-scale studies to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Consuming just one ounce of nuts in place of an equal amount of carbohydrate calories has been shown to increase overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

The nuts used in making nut butter can be roasted or raw. Roasted nuts tend to create a product with a richer, more intense flavour, while raw nuts result in a milder flavour. Creamy nut butter is much more spreadable, with an even texture which is akin to that of the butter made from cow's milk.

In addition to being made from tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, nut butter can also be made from oil-rich seeds like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (tahini), and pumpkin seeds. Each type has a distinct flavour and nutritional profile, most tend to be high in fats and protein, with a very rich, creamy flavour.

Here’s some Nut info that will have you reaching for the jar.
Almonds: Relatively low in calories, almonds have more calcium than any other nut, making them a great food for overall health. Plus, they are rich in fibre and vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight age-related cognitive decline
Walnuts: With high amounts of heart-healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants, walnuts help to reduce inflammation and oxidation in the arteries.
Brazil Nuts: these creamy nuts are packed with selenium, an antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Peanuts: high in folate—a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against cognitive decline. 
Pop in on Thursday for some gorgeous nut butters and a few nut puns ;-)
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