These are a valuable meat substitute, some of them having a good protein content, and a high fat content as well. (See Fig. 66.) They may be served raw for dessert, with some fruit either fresh or dried, raisins and nuts being a pleasing combination. They should be thoroughly masticated. They are also palatable and possibly more digestible when cooked. The reason that many people consider nuts indigestible is because they eat them between meals, and do not give them a proper place in a meal, eating them when enough food of other kinds has been taken. One who is open-minded in the matter of menus will find that nuts, raw or cooked, can literally take the place of meat in a meal.

Fig. 66.   Composition of nuts.

Fig. 66. - Composition of nuts.

Almonds are always available in the markets and are so rich in protein and fat that a pound of shelled almonds is equivalent in food value to about three pounds of steak. At usual prices a good grade of almonds is more economical than the ordinary cuts of meat.

Chestnuts are a staple food in parts of Italy, and have a delicious flavor in soups, stuffings, and sauces. Our own native chestnuts, boiled and served whole or roasted, make an excellent simple dessert.

Hickory nuts, English walnuts, pecan nuts, and filberts are not only palatable in muffins, cake, and yeast bread, but add to the food value in a rational way.

Peanuts are rich in oil and protein. They are nearly equal to almonds in food value and are even more economical. Peanuts are too concentrated a food for eating between meals or to be taken after a meal already sufficient, but they may take the place of meat in the meal and peanut butter may be used on bread and in sandwiches without butter. They, too, may be used with cake and cookies.

Chopped nuts may be served with a variety of desserts. Remember always that they are to be considered food.

100-Calorie Portions Of Shelled Nuts

Kind

Weight of 100-Calorie Portion Ounces

Brazil nuts................................................

0.5

Chestnuts................................................

1.5

Filberts.......

0.5

Hickory nuts............................................

0.5

Peanuts...................................................

0.6

Pecans..................................................

0.5

Walnuts (English)...................................

0.5

Teacher's Note

When time permits and circumstances make desirable the development of the economic phase of the food work, students may be directed to look up the composition, or the food value per ounce or per pound, of a variety of the foods of whatever group is under study and work out the return in food value for a given expenditure of money. The tables in Rose's "Laboratory Handbook for Dietetics" will be found especially useful in such work.