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The Nutcracker Sweet

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Since our last regular blog talked about my childhood pet rooster, Pecker, a post on nutcrackers seemed like a logical follow-up.  But I’m really more interested in the suite sweet part than I am in nutcrackers per se.  Oh, and nuts, too.  In fact, I have a slight nut addiction (I certainly am not insinuating anything about Andy).  Andy, meanwhile, is getting a little squirrelly about this blog idea.

Because of my addiction, I am happy to report that a little on-line research – done while I was sneaking pieces of the delicious “Swedish Almond Visiting Cake” – reveals some great facts about nuts.  Almonds provide Vitamin E and fiber (though the water demands of the almond tree make almonds a mixed bag: health vs environment); “Nut Consumption Reduces Risk of Death;” A Few Walnuts a Day May Help Boost Memory; nuts are one of  “Ten Foods to Boost Your Brain Power.” According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, nuts may help us

  • have a healthier heart
  • keep our minds sharp
  • prevent age-related weight gain (I’m on my way out the door to get even more nuts now!)
  • prevent and manage type 2 diabetes
  • ease our aching joints
  • side-step cancer (“side-step” – from the USN&WR writer – is an interesting choice of words)

(FAMILY SPOILER ALERT!!!!) So I’ve given up buying the family fancy presents this year and instead am wrapping little packages of nuts to put under our Christmas tree…of course, with a cautionary note that they are to be consumed gradually and over time.  Brazil nuts, filled with selenium, for the family’s men and boys.  Walnuts for those whose brains fuzz over now and then – which would be pretty much all of us.   Almonds, high in Vitamin E, for those concerned about complexions.  Hazelnuts to hasten healing after one or more of the family has been clawed (or bitten) by our sweet Siamese cats.  Pecans from Louisiana for everyone, just because.

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One of our sweet Siamese cats

A final note before going to the sweet part of this blog.  Researchers say that nuts are helpful in preventing a craving for sweets.  The irony here is great.

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