Around the table: Go nuts, they’re good for you

Oh darn, we missed it. Yesterday was National Nut Day, a good reminder of how healthy those versatile nuts can be for all of us. Whether for snacking, garnishing, or in recipes, nuts — especially raw nuts — are mostly unsaturated fat (the good kind) and offer vitamins E and B2, protein, fiber, and minerals. If you’d like to embrace the goodness of nuts, try one of the recipes below, then sign up for the Nut Cheese Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Waimea Middle School STEM Building. Led by Vivienne Aronowitz, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with practices in both Waimea and Kona, the workshop is from 10 a.m. to noon and includes tasting and recipes. Daniela Penitenti, a cheesemaker with roots in Italy, will co-host the event. Deadline to sign up is Nov. 3; email aronowitz@gmail.com for registration link.

Vegan Macnut Cream Cheese

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Miso adds a depth of flavor, which can also be achieved with the addition of a probiotic and fermenting for a few days. You can add herbs, spices or dried fruit to create some variety.

This first recipe is from Ms. Aronowitz.

2 cups of raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight with boiled water

1/4 cup (or more) water as needed

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or more to taste

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp white miso

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency. Makes about 2 cups nut cheese, with 140 calories, 3.7 grams protein, 2.7 grams fiber, and 134 mg. sodium per 2-tablespoon serving.

Rocket and Almond Pesto

Rocket, or arugula, is related to mustard and has an addictive peppery taste. Serve with penne, spaghetti, or other favorite pasta. Recipe from “The Goodness of Nuts &Seeds” by John Midgley; makes 4 servings.

1 cup rocket (arugula), washed

3 ounces blanched almonds

Handful fresh parsley, washed

1 small dried chile

1 clove garlic, peeled

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 ounces (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor; process, adding the oil in a stream. Mix with hot pasta and serve.

Supreme Nut Loaf

Think of this as a filling, healthy substitute for meatloaf, without all the grease and fat. Wrap leftovers in aluminum foil and store in refrigerator.

1- 1/2 cups walnuts

1/2cup pecans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small sweet yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

6-ounce package baby Bella mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon each: dried marjoram, dried sage, dried thyme

12 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

1- 1/2 cups cooked wild rice

1 cup cottage cheese

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

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1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Place nuts in a resealable bag and seal; crush nuts using a rolling pin. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic in oil until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and dried herbs; cook and stir until mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir crushed nuts, Swiss cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper into mushroom mixture until evenly combined; pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake until loaf is golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool in pan about 20 minutes, then invert pan and remove loaf onto serving plate.