Guide to Cheese Types
Organic Nuts - Gourmet Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
Certified Organic Nuts must meet the certification requirements of the National Organic Program of the USDA. Organic Nuts are grown in crops that have not been sprayed with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which have been shown to be toxic to the human body. Organic Nuts must originate from crops that have been grown using sustainable production methods that conserves water, reduces soil erosion, and reduces soil, air and water pollution. The organic farm must also be inspected by a USDA accredited certifying agency which includes audits and soil and water tests. In order to pass certification and be able to display the USDA Certified Organic seal, Organic Nuts must have 95% or more organic ingredients.
Organic Nuts have been eaten by man for thousands of years. In fact, evidence exists that demonstrates that nuts such as almonds, pistachios, water chestnuts and acorns were a major part of our ancestors' diets nearly 780,000 years ago! Nuts that are eaten as food are considered culinary nuts. Culinary nuts include true botanical nuts in addition to dried edible fruits or seeds that are similar in appearance to botanical nuts, such as drupes, gymnosperms and angiosperms. True botanical nuts are hard shelled fruit of certain plants, which do not release seeds upon maturity. Botanical nuts include hazelnuts, chestnuts or acorns. Drupes are fleshy fruits that surround a shell with a stone or pit containing a seed inside. Drupes include almonds, cashews, pistachios or walnuts. Gymnosperm seeds come from the Greek word meaning "naked seed" which references the unenclosed nature of the seed. Pine nuts are gymnosperms. Angiosperm seeds are seeds that are enclosed within a larger fruit. Peanuts and brazil nuts are angiosperms.
Today, the following nuts contribute to the majority of worldwide nut production: almond, cashew, chestnut, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio and walnut. Many Organic Nuts have a high oil content, which makes them a valuable energy source. Most Organic Nuts contain unsaturated fats, which help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol; Omega-3 Fatty Acids which support heart health; fiber, which may help you eat less by making you feel full; Vitamin E, which may help stop the growth of plaque in arteries; and plant sterols, which may help lower cholesterol.
Organic Nuts are excellent for snacking, as well as for use in cooking. Organic Nuts provide excellent texture and flavor to everything from sweet to savory dishes. Many Organic Nuts are often eaten raw, but the flavor of some nuts is heightened by roasting, salting or coating them with herbs and spices. Organic Nuts enhance the flavor of chocolate, cookies, candy, fruit, ice cream, dessert and pastries. Organic Nuts also are great in salads, breads, meat dishes, soups and sauces.
Our line of USDA Certified Organic Nuts includes peanuts, almonds, pecans, macadamias, cashews, and more. In addition to Organic Nuts, we also offer Organic Seeds like pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. These Organic Nuts are grown all over the world, all by growers who are certified to use only organic methods and techniques. Several of our Organic Nuts items are coated in chocolate or spices, creating an even more delicious snacking experience.
Health Benefits of Organic Seeds and Organic Nuts
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and fiber. Almonds are high in healthy unsaturated fats, the same fats found in olive oil which may contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.
Cashews have a lower amount of fat than other nuts and seventy five percent of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. Cashews are an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Hazelnuts, also called filberts, are high in protein, fiber, vitamin and minerals. Hazelnuts contain a high concentration on Oleic acid which may lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and raise "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Hazelnuts are high in Vitamin E and B Vitamins such as folate and are rich in phytochemicals which support brain, circulation and improve allergy related symptoms.
Pecans are rich in antioxidants and plant sterols which may help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol. Pecans contain over nineteen vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A and E, calcium and potassium.
Organic Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds are extremely nutritious and a rich source of antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other vitamins and minerals. The Chia Seed can absorb up to ten times its weight in water, making you feel full and hydrated longer. Chia Seeds are mild and nutty and are easily digested.
Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein and many vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc and amino acids such as tryptophan. Tryptophan helps make serotonin, which contributes to healthy sleep and mood. Pumpkin Seeds are also a good source of Oleic acid, known to help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol.
Shop more Organic Nuts and ingredients here. To find the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at igourmet.com.