This post is all about the nut – What makes nuts so healthy? How much nuts should you eat a day? How can I replace nuts? I’ll also show you how you can make any nut milk like almond, cashew and hazelnut milk at home very quickly and easily with minimal effort using my basic recipe.
Are Nuts Healthy?
If you know my blog, you know that I often use nuts to bake and enhance dishes. Not only does this have flavor benefits, but it also adds a healthy touch to recipes. Because despite the calories and fats they contain, they are very healthy and should not be missing from your vegan diet.
For a healthy and balanced vegan diet, you should of course not only eat the brain boosters in the form of sweet pastries, such as cakes or chocolate, but enjoy them best pure and with shell.
If you want to learn more about vegan nutrition, I can recommend you to follow the vegan food pyramid. Nuts are an important part of this and should ideally be consumed daily.
Common Types of Nuts
There are very many nuts and seeds that are good for our health and contain many valuable nutrients. Here is a small selection of the most common types of nuts and their health benefits.
Health benefits of nuts
In the best case scenario, you should consume a portion of them every day, which is equivalent to a handful or about 30 grams per day. You can easily help yourself to nut mixtures, because they contain different varieties that can cover your daily needs of various nutrients.
In general, nuts are a real superfood and good for the brain. They contain many important nutrients that we need for our health and optimal body functions. Among other things, they provide us with plenty of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber.
This combination is especially beneficial for complex health processes in our bodies, plus they keep us full for a long time and can meet our daily nutritional needs.
An important health benefit of nuts is the healthy fats. Many people leave them alone because they are afraid of gaining weight due to the fat and calorie content. However, various types of nuts are welcome to be snacked on without remorse. It is true that the nut fruit brings between 60 and 70 grams of fat per 100 grams, but we are talking about healthy fats.
What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats?
Actually, it’s quite simple: We distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The former are among the “bad” fats, as they increase cholesterol levels, promote diabetes, and can cause vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease.
Saturated fatty acids are found in convenience foods such as chips, french fries, fried foods in general, chocolate, in animal products such as milk, cheese or cream, and other unhealthy foods.
Unsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, are good and beneficial for us. We find them in avocados, nuts, olive or rapeseed oil. For example, they promote the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K and thus guarantee a higher bioavailability. You can easily recognize saturated fatty acids by the fact that they become liquid at warm temperatures and have a low melting point, as is the case with coconut oil.¹
We pay special attention to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which we need to survive. Unfortunately, it is usually the case that we consume too many of the unhealthy fats and too few of the healthy ones. That’s why nuts are so ideal for this, because the snacks for in between meals taste delicious and also supply us with important nutrients.
In addition to healthy fats, nuts have other important nutrients that they provide us with. As you can see from the table above, most varieties contain iron, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein and various vitamins and minerals.
It’s rare to find so much power packed into one pile, because these nutrients can help lower our cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, regulate our weight, and fight free radicals.
The latter can be attacked and neutralized if necessary, thanks to the antioxidants that nuts contain, which can lead to a reduction in cancer.
Magnesium and folic acid ensure that our nervous system can relax and prevent inflammation. Folic acid is especially recommended for pregnant women for the formation of the nervous system of the fetus. This can be supplemented externally and also replenished by nuts.²
Healthy Nuts – the superfood for brain and body
The combination of nutrients in nuts is particularly beneficial for us and regular consumption can also train our brain. It is not without reason that different types of nuts and dried fruits are the component of trail mixes.
Nuts contain, among other things, the messenger substances choline and lecithin and various vitamins from the B group, which ensure that our brain can work without restrictions and improve performance.
Thanks to various trace elements and minerals, our brain can better absorb newly learned material and store it longer. In addition, the linoleic acid contained in nuts can lead to our brain cells networking better with each other. Vitamin E and vitamins of the B group ensure that stress hormones are reduced and that we can generally relax better in stressful situations.³
Of course, these are just a few of the many health benefits. As you can see, it’s definitely worth eating nuts every day. I recommend having these little healthy snacks on hand at all times.
How can I substitute nuts?
Unfortunately, not everyone can tolerate nuts and cannot eat them because of various intolerances and allergic reactions, so substitutes are needed.
Here’s how you can replace nuts in baking / cooking:
- Ground nuts: toasted oatmeal (1:1).
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Apricot kernels
- Coconut flakes
- Dried cranberries
- Toasted rolled oats with vegan butter and sugar make a great one-to-one nut substitute
- Ground tiger nuts or tiger nut flakes (also called tiger nut flour) *
How to make Nut Milk from Scratch – it’s that easy!
Nuts can be used to make a plant-based alternative to conventional cow’s milk in no time at all. Although there are now numerous milk alternatives to buy in the supermarket, but nut milk can be just like oat milk quite quickly and easily make yourself without much effort. Plus, you can save a lot of money in the process!
To make nut milk yourself, you basically only need nuts and water. In addition, a pinch of salt and some sweetener such as maple syrup, agave syrup, date syrup or sugar. You can also refine the nut milk with any spices like vanilla or cinnamon.
You are welcome to choose the nut variety, depending on what kind of nut milk you want to make. Whether you choose almonds, hazelnuts, cashews or macadamias, this basic nut milk recipe always works! If you do not tolerate nuts, you can make the recipe with sunflower seeds. It works just as well!
If you try this quick nut milk DIY recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your plant-based milk and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka! Have fun trying it out! 😊
How to make Nut Milk - Easy DIY RecipeAuthor:
- 7 oz nuts e. g. almonds, hazelnuts or cashews
- 1 liter water
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tsp sweetener such as maple syrup, agave syrup or sugar to taste
- First, cover the nuts completely with water and soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the water, rinse the nuts and puree them in a high-speed blender together with 1 liter of fresh water. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to taste.
- Then optionally pass through a nut milk bag (or dish towel or kitchen towel or very fine sieve) to separate the nut milk from the nut solids. (If the solids in the milk don't bother you, it will be ready right after blending).
- Pour the nut milk into sterile bottles and store in the refrigerator. Shake vigorously before consumption and use up within 2 days. if possible.
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