A Nutty Solution To Holiday Snacking

November 30, 2011   12 Comments

Looking for a way to make it through the holidays without adding to your muffin top? I know I am.

Healthy Holiday Snack

This post is inspired from a dedicated Snack Girl reader who was frustrated with a Snack Girl omission.

From Courtney:

I'm a huge fan of your work, especially your holiday features which help me keep from putting on holiday weight.

You had me at "huge fan" :)

That being said, I can't believe you've never featured uncracked nuts as a snack. We had them every year during the holiday season in my house and they were the bane of my existence when featured along with an orange in my holiday stocking (I got very little candy in my stocking, which seemed cosmically unfair to a six year old whose friends had never heard of getting fruit in a stocking).

Still, I always loved them, and now that I'm older and realize that having to crack them myself not only gives me a little feeling of accomplishment (sometimes I applaud) but also keeps me from eating an entire bowl of nuts in one sitting. Those things take forever to open!

Seems like a good reason to break out your nutcracker, right?

YES! How could I forget this? I, too, received oranges and walnuts in the shell in my stocking from Santa. Somehow Santa managed to fill the stocking with almost entirely oranges and walnuts and no chocolate. Perhaps, he knew that I would someday lead a healthy snack revolution......

You can buy bags of mixed whole nuts in the produce section of you store and they will include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and pecans. While you are sitting around watching holiday football or hanging out by the fire - you can bust out a nutcracker and get crackin'.

It is hard work to open these guys, but the nuts taste so fresh and it is fun to open them to get the prize inside. Twenty almonds is about 100 calories. I double dog dare you to crack 20 almonds in a sitting.

These would also make a great gift basket (if you are giving out gifts this year). You could buy a basket, fill it with whole nuts, and include a nutcracker. Wouldn't your friends love this healthy snack?

Do you crack whole nuts at the holidays?

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Cool, but will they stay good if left out and unsealed, like in a bowl for several days? Since they have the shell I don't know. Besides the rodent risk.....=)

Hooray, I helped!

@Rachel, we left ours in a bowl the entire season and while we ate them fairly fast they kept really well.

Some years I would get an apple for Christmas instead of an orange, but only after Santa figured out I didn't much care for oranges. :)

@Courtney yay you helped and i got to talk to somebody who's talked to snack girl! Thanks, and while you were getting fruit i was getting dreidels and presents ;) But then they figured out i cared more about the chocolate than the game. :)

my mom has done this for as long as I can remember. we always have a separate bowl in which to put the empty shells (I suggest emptying it a couple of times a day). this year, we left the full bowl on the coffee table overnight, and my dog (her current nickname is "Troublemaker") somehow got her little nose up there and tipped the bowl over onto the carpet! (I suspect she smelled the piece of mint gum my friend disposed of in a walnut shell.) so, word to the wise, throw away the shells every night. :D

I have fond memories of sitting around my grandmother's table cracking whole nuts. Funny, most people don't even know what shell their nuts comes in! Doing it around the table, we would talk between cracks and bites, which made it fun and slowed down consumption. I haven't done it my own home, but maybe this is the year. Thanks for the inspiration.

I LOVE this idea! We did this when I was a kid, too, and I had totally forgotten about it. I am hosting Christmas this year and am *determined* not to be derailed from my weight loss by (hungry) guests. Thanks for the suggestion!

We always had nuts in a bowl during the Holidays - loved that!

I do it too every few years, but kids make such a mess cracking them!

Maybe I'll bite the bullet this year and try again, the kids are older now.......thanks for the reminder!

Yes!! My family also had nuts out during the holidays. I even got fruits in my stocking. Hmmm, wonder what my 7 year old will think about that this year? Thanks for the memories.

It is so strange how the little things stand-out in our memories! Santa put both an orange and an apple in my stocking with nuts. But the thing I remember the most, is the bowl of nuts at my grandmother's house. It was something I looked forward to every christmas. I will have to start up the tradition again with my family. Thanks for the memories!

I have a pecan tree in my back yard!!! We have been enjoying them for several weeks now. They are best roasted with a little cinnamon! Yum!

Great reminder to all!

We ALWAYS got nuts and fruit in our stocking too. As we got older, Santa got HUGE specialty oranges and apples and from California for us....a real treat up here in Canada.

We have a specially decorated holiday tray that holds the bowl of nuts and crackers, then the shells get put in the tray on the outside. The bowl of nuts stays out until it's done (usually some time in January); although I can crack & eat them pretty darn quickly...enough to give me a tummy ache!

Brazil nuts are the hardest, but my all-time fav.

I just spent 15 minutes diving into pistachios with a screwdriver. I think maybe I ate 25.

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