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Publix GreenWise Market Magazine
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Publix GreenWise Market Magazine - September 2007

A Nut By Any Other Name ...

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Pine NutsIndian nut, piñon, pignoli, and pignolia. They're all names for the pine nut, the tiny, cream-colored gem that is actually the seed of certain species of pine trees. Pine nuts - sold shelled, raw, or roasted - have a rich, buttery flavor and add a delightful crunch to many foods, including baked goods, pastas, and more.

A ¼-cup serving is a good source of copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It also provides 48 milligrams of phytosterols, plant compounds that can help block cholesterol absorption and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. It's smart to enjoy pine nuts sensibly, however, since that same ¼-cup serving packs 227 calories and 23 grams of total fat. Even though most of that fat is of the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated varieties, all fats contain calories. Try these ways to enjoy pine nuts:

  • Toss a few toasted onto green salads.
  • Add a small handful to pasta dishes.
  • Sprinkle onto soups for added flavor and crunch.
  • Include in pancake and waffle batters.
  • Top stir-fries and casseroles with a smattering.
  • Place a handful on a veggie-laden pizza.
LEARN MORE: Visit the International Tree Nut Council at www.nuthealth.org

Let Off A Little Steam
Although loaded with nutrition, vegetables can be a hard sell at the dinner table, especially if they're limp and overcooked. Steaming is a smart and easy way to keep the snap in your beans and body in your broccoli. Steam circulating around the food provides a moist heat for quick, even cooking. Done correctly, steaming also helps retain important vitamins and minerals. The secrets to perfect steaming?
  • Cut vegetables into equal-size pieces so they'll cook evenly.
  • Bring 1 to 3 inches of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. For added flavor, use chicken stock instead of water or add white wine or herbs and spices to the water. You can also try citrus juice, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, or mushrooms.
  • Place a single layer of veggies into a steamer pot or bamboo steamer basket; cover with a lid.
  • Steam just until tender. Most cut vegetables need just 1 to 3 minutes. Dense vegetables, such as potatoes, may need as long as 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Season and serve immediately after cooking. If left sitting, steamed foods will continue to cook and may turn mushy.

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