The word nut is about as ambiguous as can be. When used in its singular form, it is a playful word, as in, “Oh, he’s a real nut!” When used in its plural, it is an extremely critical word, as in “Oh, no. Seriously, stay away from her. She’s nuts!” The word nut is used to describe aspects of wine and coffee, and is even used as a synonym for part of the male genitalia.
It’s no wonder that the actual nut itself becomes so laden with ambiguity. The term nut, when used to describe edibles, is really more of classification for “one-celled, one-seeded dry fruit.” This means, for instance, that the grand marshal of the mixed nut, the peanut, is technically only posing as a nut. It’s really a legume because the actual “nut” is in there hanging out inside the pod, and not really part of it, kind of like a pea or a sunflower seed. If you’ve ever cracked open a pecan or walnut, you get the difference. Although, technically a pecans and walnuts are drupes, which is more in the family of the cherry and plum.
Still, along with beans, seeds and the afore mentioned legume, nuts are all just really great sources of protein, and when eaten raw or prepared correctly, can be a major health benefit. They can also be an extremely filling snack, yielding up to three times more calories per equally measured serving than beef. So, yeah! Snickers really does satisfy you.
As partial as I am to the peanut, I decided to not allow its participation in my National Nut Day. The peanut already gets plenty of tongue time with me, and I just really felt my day would be more celebrated if I spent it with some of the others. At lunch time, I did a little bag of smoked almonds, that are always a rare treat. A 99 cent bag goes down in about two and a half minutes. That’s a lot of unsaturated fat but also a lot of vitamin E.
To pull off the ultimate peanut exclusion for National Nut Day, however, I had to use a little manipulation. So, I went to “the bins.” The bins are the part of the grocery store that you either go to all the time, or you never go to at all. They’ve got all the healthy tidbits in serve yourself portions that are pay by the pound. These bins allowed me to produce a bowl full of only the fancy yummy nuts that you always try to pick out among the excessive amount of peanuts. I even added in some macadamia.
At the end of the day, National Nut Day drew to a perfect conclusion, as I setup my bowl of fancy nuts with a cup of decaf coffee in front of the TV in the living room. I sipped and munched, watching a couple of the other kind of nuts hash it out for the position of President of the United States. Indeed, a perfect National Nut Day.
See you Wednesday for National Bologna Day.