This is a web site about herbs, so why am I blogging about nuts and seeds on an herb blog. One reason is we use herbs for our health and well being, as well as to flavor our food. Or it could be ‘those herb people’ are just obsessed about herbs of all kinds.
Well technically nuts and seeds are not herbs, or are they? If you read definitions of herbs in books it changes with every book. The usual definition of herbs as being anything herbaceous. Did it tell you anything about what is an herb? Didn’t think so!
According to one of my research book which I use frequently Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herb, “A tree can’t be an herb, can it”…”What makes a plant an herb is an oft-asked question, and one that an encyclopedia of herbs should answer”…”A plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.”
The Herb Society of America calls an herb “any plant that may be used for pleasure, fragrance, or physic.”
OK did it answer your question “What is an Herb?”? Yea! not really. So nuts and seeds can be an herb or not.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seed are almost equal to dried beans and peas in their protein content. Soybeans have more protein than nuts. Mix nuts and seeds with beans, peas, or soybeans and you have a healthy mixture. The fat content in this healthy mixture is unsaturated fat, still has calories but is a better kind of fat for the body. This type of fat is good for digestion and heart health especially if mixed with rosemary and spices like cayenne and peppercorns.
Nuts and seeds provide get-up-and go and will fill you up and help in avoiding those bad snacks we all love so much.
Attention Mothers! if your kids like peanut and butter sandwiches, great especially if it is on whole grain breads and made with pure peanut butter. Just be sure they are not allergic to peanuts.
Peanuts are technically a legume, not a nut, but hey what do we care, they still taste great. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts are the dried fruit of the tree. Sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are softer than nuts but still pack a punch of nutrition.
Seeds are better, for the most part, in their whole form with the coating intact. Some seeds such as anise, cardamom, and caraway will become rancid after they have been crushed if not soon. Keep the seed whole until ready to use.
One of my favorite appliance in my kitchen is a coffee grinder, which has never seen a ground of coffee. Used it to grind seeds, and dried herbs. Mortar and Pestle works great as well.
Warm climates with humidity will affect the life of your seeds and spices. Best flavor is attained when you crush just enough for your recipe. Old seeds lose their flavor, so once in a while BUY FRESH!.
Here are few facts:
The protein content of most nuts and seed is 10% to 25% protein by weight.
- Peanuts, (legume) are 26% protein and 48% fat by weight.
- Walnuts are 15% protein and 64% fat by weight
- Sunflowers seeds are 24% protein and 47% fat by weight
The protein in nuts contains no cholesterol and it has been said the fat content in these good fats will lower your cholesterol level. Lentil (bean) are said to lower it by up to 50% in just a few months. Do your research and you may fine some surprising facts about these wonder foods.
Nuts have a good balance of amino acids and when combine with whole grains have complete protein, better than a steak.OOOOH! Americans lover our steaks. Hey I grew up on a cattle ranch actually we called it a farm, but our main focus was cows.