As we age, our nutritional needs and health concerns change. Virginia Cooperative Extension is helping to ensure the 55+ population in Arlington takes a preventative approach to their health. VCE partners with Arlington Senior Centers to provide cooking and nutrition classes. These programs provide healthy, easy, and affordable recipes alongside sound nutritional information. In short, they allow people to taste new foods and learn tools to simplify cooking. With this knowledge, participants can ensure they are getting the nutrients they need while limiting the ones they don’t, like saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
So far this year, classes have focused on eating more nuts, seeds, and seafood. These foods have more in common than one may think. Nuts, seeds, and seafood all add healthy fats and a varied source of protein to our diet. Below is a picture from one of this years’ classes in which FCS Agent Katie Strong, MS, RD, demonstrates tasty ways to add nuts and seeds into everyday dishes.
Here are 5 fun ways to enjoy nuts and seeds in your diet!
1. Toasting walnuts or almonds in the oven for only a few short minutes gives them an additional delicious flavor. You can then eat them plain or add them to salad and yogurt.
2. Use rolled oats to make homemade granola with your favorite nuts and seeds.
3. Let peanut butter share the shelf with some other nut pastes like almond, hazelnut, or even sesame paste (also know as Tahini).
4. Mix in ground flax seed to a fruit smoothie for some added fiber and healthy fat.
5. Try adding chia seeds to your milk or milk substitute and season with cinnamon and vanilla for a tapioca like pudding
Nut Tip: Buy nuts from the baking aisle of your supermarket. They are often the most inexpensive in this aisle and do not have any added salt or sugar.
Find senior classes this spring in the Arlington 55+ guide.
By Sally Hammer, Virginia Tech Dietetic Intern 2013-2014