Nuts and seeds
Folded into baked goods, sprinkled over salads or simply eaten by the handful, nuts and seeds are healthy and delicious no matter how you enjoy them. The bulk department at PCC is packed with many varieties — DuChilly hazelnuts, golden flaxseeds, spicy pumpkin seeds, and many more — so try tasting something new!
Known to decrease the risk of heart disease, almonds are a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins and protein. (A quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams of protein — more than is provided by a typical egg, which only contains 5.54 grams!)
Their delicate flavor makes them an ideal addition to both sweet and savory foods — try them in Almond Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies, add a cup or two to a batch of homemade granola, or sprinkle some over a green salad for added crunch and flavor. PCC carries almonds from Zinke Orchards, a small family owned operation that includes 500 acres of no-spray almond trees in California.
Walnuts often are thought of as a "brain food," not only because of their wrinkled brain-like shape, but also because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats, which are essential to proper brain functioning. They're chock-full of antioxidants and good on everything from your morning oatmeal to a spicy stir-fry. Try this recipe for Carrot-Walnut Muffins to see how delicious they are in baked goods, too.
Cashews are lower in fat than most nuts and full of magnesium, which is good for your bones. They are delicious crushed over Thai dishes (such as Pad Thai) or added to baked goods. Try them in this trail mix, sure to boost your energy anytime.
Rich and buttery and full of healthy fats, pecans are featured in everything from pies to stuffing. Snack on a handful or try them in Pear Salad with Cabrales Cheese and Toasted Pecans.
High in Vitamin E and selenium, which are known to prevent cancer, crunchy sunflower seeds are a fun garnish on top of salads or good added to rice or pilafs. PCC has roasted, salted sunflower seeds for a satisfying, healthy snack.
A tasty addition to both sweet and savory foods, pistachios are a good source of Vitamin B6, which can improve your mood. They're popular in Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, or delicious cracked open and eaten out of hand. Try this recipe for Asparagus and Prosciutto Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette.
Enhance the nutty flavor of these tiny seeds by roasting them in a dry skillet, then add them to baked goods or use them to garnish. Try combining toasted sesame seeds with rice vinegar, tamari and crushed garlic to use as a dressing for salads, vegetables and noodles.
Hazelnuts (also known as filberts)
The rich, creamy flesh of hazelnuts makes them a natural match for cookies, cakes, and other desserts, but they're also delicious in salads and side dishes. Roast them to bring out their flavor, then rub them in a cloth while still hot to remove their skins (if you prefer). Try this Cherry and Hazelnut Salad.
Unground flaxseeds have a soft crunch, but they're usually not consumed whole. Instead, grind them up and add them to baked goods or a smoothie — they add a nutty, earthy flavor and a boost of healthy omega-3 fats!
Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds have a chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. Pumpkin seeds are great tossed in salads, mixed with grains, or ground up and added to salad dressings, casseroles, soups, and baked goods. Sprinkle them over a bowl of chili for a nice textural contrast.
Peanuts are a great source of heart-healthy fats and protein, and take wonderfully diverse forms. Look for them in several trail mixes in the PCC bulk section, where you'll also find freshly-ground peanut butter and dry roasted Valencia peanuts.
While it's hard to beat a handful of nuts for a healthy, satisfying snack, they may be even better when they're ground into rich, luxurious spreads called nut butters. At PCC, you'll find not only several varieties (chunky, smooth, with or without salt) of peanut- and almond butters, but also more exotic spreads made of walnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds. You even can grind your own peanut- and almond-butter in our bulk department.
Tahini, made of ground sesame seeds, forms the creamy foundation of hummus and other Middle Eastern foods, and is delicious as a sauce over vegetables, grains, or fish.