Nuts made the news this week on aol.com. Apparently, people all over the world are snacking on what they think are nuts but are really legumes or seeds.
Cashews: Seeds of Cashew Apple
One of the most popular “nuts,” cashews are a seed of the cashew apple. The cashew seed is the c-shaped, grayish object at the bottom of the fruit. Walnuts are another seed impersonating a nut. Their shells mature and harden inside of a fibrous, green husk. The desert plant called the pistachio tree is also a member of the cashew family. The food that we consider a pistachio nut, is actually the seed of the pistachio tree.
Almonds: Seeds of Almond Trees
Almonds, which are very welcome in any nut mix, are the seed of the almond tree, which is native to the Middle East and South Asia and is famous for its beautiful blossoms. Most edible nuts, like pecans or hazelnuts, grow on trees. But peanuts grow in pods that mature underground and are classified as a legume, like peas and lentils.
One thing is for sure, nuts are a nutritious snack — especially raw tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and more. Experts link these tree nuts to lower cholesterol, better heart health, weight control, and even a lower cancer risk.
Rest assured when you dive into a bowl of nuts during your Super Bowl party this weekend, know that hazelnuts and pecans are the real deal.