As we drive up and down our great nations highways things get, not so much boring, but tedious. In order to deal with the tedium drivers tend to snack. Chips, cookies, candy, even sodas can be in the snack category. With the sedentary life of a trucker, all these snacks wind up around our waist. I will be the first to admit I could be out for a walk now instead of sitting in front of a computer, but then how would we learn about healthy snacking. I will say I’m no doctor or nutritionist, but I’ve read some and have figured out nuts are a good healthy snack, in moderation. What I mean is nuts are healthy for you to eat but they are high in calories.
When I started eating nuts as a snack I went to the snack isle in the grocery store and bought what they had mixed. If one were to read the label on said can of nuts it would scare you, all the fats and sodium. Once I got used to eating nuts I decided to get healthier nuts. Raw without salt, even sea salt is still salt no better for you than any other salt, is the healthiest way to get the most benefit out of your nut snacking. We found a web site that sells all kinds of nuts and we could purchase unsalted raw nuts at a reasonable price.
I'm kinda picky about the nuts I like to eat. A normal can of mixed nuts has some nuts I don't like and won't eat, and they are roasted with salt, so I mix my own. Every grocery store I’ve been in for years has a baking isle, the mother load for raw nuts. In larger stores these are very fresh because Grandma needs nuts to do her magic in the kitchen and they sell quickly. I make my choices there, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Cashews to name the most common that I like. There are others but you can see for yourself. I use a very large (2 gallon) Ziploc bag to mix the nuts in, pour them in close it up and roll and shake as you feel the need. You may want to use two bags to make mixing easier, split the purchases in two and mix away.
My favorite nut is the Cashew, so this nut gets the highest percentage in my mix. Raw, the Cashew is sweetish and somewhat crunchy, packed with energy, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. They are used in several Asian recopies and many candies. Some info about cashews from www.nutrition-and-you.com, cashews are high in calories, about 533 in 100 grams, A good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and many health promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect us from diseases and cancers. They are rich in "heart friendly" monounsaturated-fatty acids, helping with cholesterol issues. Three pounds of raw salt free into the bag.
I really like the buttery sweet crunch of a good raw Pecan. Again, rich in energy and health benefits, and 690 calories per 100 grams. Some of the same for pecans as the cashew as far as disease and cancer fighting, vitamins and minerals and other good stuff. Grandma used these in a lot of baked goods and candies. One pound of raw salt free into the bag.
Walnuts, what can I say about the walnut, they are somewhat bitter but add a great flavor to the mix. I couldn't find the calorie content but the vitamins and minerals are off the chart. One site claimed a handful of walnuts would give you the recommended daily levels of vitamins, protein and minerals. Cookies, cakes, candy and breads, Grandma loves the walnut, me to. One-pound raw salt free in the bag.
Almonds, sweetly tangy and crunchy, a nice addition to the bag. High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they are good for you. 575 calories per 100 grams of goodness. Grandma used almonds in many cooking and baking recipes. One-pound raw salt free in the bag.
I also like the Pistachio, this nut is softer to bite so it adds a different texture to the mix. These are sometimes hard to find shelled and raw so we order them and have them shipped home. 557 calories per 100 grams in these little green gems. Health benefits abound pistachios too are good for you. I'm not sure if Grandma ever used pistachios in the kitchen but why not. One pound raw shelled salt free in the bag.
Once all the nuts are in, I seal the bag and roll, shake, jiggle and mix anyway I can. The bag makes an excellent storage container once in the truck it just gets smaller and smaller. I have a plastic jar that I fill with my mix and keep handy when I want a quick bite. About a handful will satisfy me for a couple of hours. One can get the snack size Ziploc bags and have single serve sized bags ready for a driving shift. When I'm feeling a little chocolate need I pour a small bag of M&M's into my jar, just for the different taste. It always amazes me how combining two different nuts in the same bite will change the flavor of both. There are flavored nuts for sale and while not as good as raw they are still better than a bag of chips. For a while I would get everything raw and salt free except one pound of cashews, this would give the mix a little salt but it was not overpowering.
Snacking can be healthy, you just need to eat the right thing and in moderation. Like everything else we consume if we eat to much of a good thing it will wind up in the same place as if we were not eating healthy. Snack Healthy.