More and more people are discovering the great news about nuts. Many clinical studies have shown that nuts can lower levels of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, when substituted for food high in saturated fat and eaten as part of a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Nuts also contain good essential fatty acids and oils to help keep your brain and heart functioning properly, as well as give your skin a healthy glow.

The nutrients in nuts promote overall health in a variety of different ways. With their unique combination of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, along with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, nuts can fit perfectly into a healthy diet that is calorie balanced for weight maintenance. Nuts also make the perfect on the go snack. I usually try to keep a bag of raw almonds or walnuts in my office to help guide my snacking towards a healthy treat.

This recipe adds a little touch of seasoning to complement the nuts’ natural savory flavors. This mix is perfect for upcoming holidays and also makes a lovely gift for any occasion. Enjoy.

Herb Roasted Nuts
Great for a snack or on salads

3 tablespoons organic olive oil
3 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flax Meal
1/2 teaspoon dried organic sage leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried organic thyme leaf
1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1-1/2 cups raw organic walnuts
1-1/2 cups whole raw organic almonds
1-1/2 cups raw organic pecans
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne (red) pepper
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine olive oil, flax meal, sage, thyme, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium size bowl. Add nuts and toss to coat. Spread on a sheet pan. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and paprika or cayenne. Place in a bowl, add craisins and toss well. Makes 5-1/2 cups.

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Bea James is Senior Whole Health Manager at Lunds and Byerly's. She is a member of the USDA National Organic Standards Board, member of the International Association of Natural Products Producers, and Chair of the Food Marketing Institute Natural Foods Committee. Bea is a long time chef appearing on local radio and TV to advocate organic foods, as well as former deli manager of two Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops. She can be reached for organic questions at bea.james@lfhi.com Copyright © 2005 Bea James. All rights reserved.

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