For nearly six thousand years, one of the choicest, most healthful, and most nutritious articles of food that was assigned by the Creator for man's diet, has been but little used, at least by the civilized portion of the world.
This long-neglected article of diet some call "shell fruit," but the common name is "nuts." "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Nuts, which are only the shelled fruit of a tree or seeds of a plant, are certainly included in man's original bill of fare.
It is indeed strange that man should so lightly esteem and refuse to partake of these choice, God-given viands, which, judiciously used with grains and fruits, would supply all nature's requirements, and turn from the healthful diet to that which is less wholesome and more liable to disease -such as flesh meats of all kinds. The probable reason for this is, first, they are usually eaten as desserts after one has already eaten a sufficient amount, or they are eaten as titbits between meals, and then, if indigestion follows, the nuts get the credit. Secondly, they are somewhat hard of mastication, and very few people of this generation have teeth sound enough to masticate them sufficiently for easy digestion.
Historians and travelers tell us that the natives of Africa and British Guiana, also the North American Indians, use nuts as one of the principal articles of their diet. Missionaries who have lately returned from these lands, inform us that the natives still use nuts in the preparation of their foods; and that with their crude utensils, they can grind and emulsify nuts nearly as well as the more modern perfected machinery.
A little over fifteen years ago, the German army began experimenting quite extensively on the use of peanuts as an article of diet for the army, and at the present time, there are annually many thousand tons of peanuts exported from this country to Germany and France. They extract the oil and make the residue into flour or meal, and apportion it to the soldiers. It is made into soups and other foods, and considered very nutritious.
In the last few years, there has been a great awakening in regard to healthful living, and great strides have been made in the methods of emulsifying nuts into a paste or butter,-a convenient form for cooking purposes and much easier to digest. But the majority of those who have adopted nut butter, use it instead of the dairy product only to spread on bread. It is the object of the author to place before the public a book treating upon the use of nuts as shortening, seasoning, etc., to be used in every way in which milk, cream, butter, or lard can be used, and fully to take their place.
To the best of the author's knowledge, there has hitherto been no book which treats upon this subject. The recipes are those which have been carefully tested by the author or some of her friends.
Perfection is not claimed in this work, but it is sincerely hoped that this book is only a forerunner of other and better works on this subject, and that further experiments will bring out other and more valuable recipes.
Mrs. Almeda Lambert,
Battle Creek, Mich.