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Nut Based

Salty snacks are great for munching while you’re watching the game or just outside enjoying the sunshine.  The great thing about a lot of nut based snacks is that they come with the shell still on.  That makes them one of the most interactive snacks out there.  You actually have to do something to get it, and the resulting pile of shells can be quite satisfying.

Humans have been eating nuts since the early beginning.  Many natural nuts like peanuts and walnuts are quite damp when first picked.  However, if they’re allowed to dry in the sun or in a furnace then the shell becomes easier to break off and inside you’ll find a tasty little treat.

The most basic of nut snacks is the peanut.  The American public eats over 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts each year.  Half of that number is in the form of peanut butter.  They come in salted and unsalted varieties, and often have a smoky flavor from the drying process.  Peanuts are packed full of protein and energy.  That’s why you shouldn’t eat too much of them at once.  They also contain fats that can wreak havoc with your digestive system if taken in excess.

Peanuts are a crowd favorite at baseball and football games.  There’s nothing quite like plowing through a whole bag while you’re up in the bleachers.  Similar nut snacks come in many varieties like walnuts (really hard to open) and almonds (a delicious add-on for salads and other cuisine).

Pistachios are definitely up their in terms of taste and price.  Many are grown in California and Florida.  Many hardcore peanut eaters also swear by pistachios.  They are about half the size of a peanut and only contain one nut.  They’re often extensively dried and salted, resulting in a rather intense but pleasant snacking experience.

Nuts-out-of-shell have become extremely popular in the States ever since Planters peanuts were introduce in the early 1900’s.  Planters specialized in plain peanuts out of the shell sold in jars.  Since then, they’ve expanded their lines to include flavored peanuts and nut mixes.  Mixes can include a number of different nuts like peanuts, almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts.

On a side note, another popular snack that is similar to nut snacks are seed snacks.  Pumpkins and sunflowers all yield tasty seeds that are dried and salted.  Though lower on nutritional value, seeds are another fun snack to have in addition to peanuts and pistachios.