Weekly food briefs rail.

Tip of the Week

Healthy food that also tastes good is always in vogue, and now it’s getting a spring makeover.

The theme of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and National Nutrition Month this March is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” As spring approaches and fitness routines move outdoors, remember that healthy snacks can fuel a workout, get you through the day and taste delicious.

“It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with snacks,” said Becci Twombley, director of sports nutrition at the University of Southern California and ambassador for the American Pistachio Growers. Try one of Twombley’s snacking experiments below if you need a snack makeover this spring.

1. Pick one protein-based ingredient and think about different ways to eat it as a snack. Twombley often recommends pistachios as a performance snack for exercise because, calorie-for-calorie, pistachios pack more protein than most common snacks.

As a snack ingredient, pistachios can be baked into homemade energy bars, sprinkled on yogurt or combined with dried fruit in a make-your-own trail mix.

2. Work backwards. Think about your favorite snacks, and then experiment with different ways to add new proteins to that snack. Love the portability of sport bars, but not the lengthy ingredient list that can accompany some store-bought brands? Instead, make your own sport bars to control the ingredients in your own kitchen.

3. Get creative with the ultimate snack duo: protein and fiber. Rather than buying a traditional trail mix, make your own mix of pistachios and your favorite dried fruit. Mix pistachios with air popped popcorn for a satisfying and filling post-workout snack.

- Brandpoint

Number to Know

49: A serving size of pistachios is 49 nuts (more than any other tree nut), which provides 6 grams of filling protein and 3 grams of fiber for only 160 calories.

— American Pistachio Growers

Easy Recipe

Pistachio Sport Bars

Serving: 24 pieces

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups pistachios

1 cup dried banana chips

1 1/2 cups cornflakes

1/3 cup dried pears

1/3 cup dried apricots

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup crisp oat flakes

Directions:

Chop the pistachios coarsely and banana chips finely. Partly crush the cornflakes. Cut the pears and apricots into small cubes.

Heat the honey and sugar over a double boiler until the honey and sugar are well combined. Mix in the pistachios, banana chips, cornflakes, pears, apricots and oat flakes. Spread the mixture in a square dish lined with baking paper (9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches), approximately 1/2 inch deep, and press well into dish. The bars can also be formed individually and then be put on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake the mix in a pre-heated oven at 350 F for about 10-15 minutes. Cut into bars of approximately 1 1/2 x 2 inches and leave to cool on a tray.

For more information about the health benefits of pistachios and recipes developed by renowned chefs, visit www.AmericanPistachios.org.

— Brandpoint

Food Quiz

One ounce is the same as?

A. 14 walnut halves

B. 19 pecan halves

C. 24 almonds

D. 49 pistachios

- International Tree Nut Council

Answer at bottom of rail.

Wise to the Word

pinenut: A pine nut is the blond, tear-shaped seed of a pine tree. Pine nuts grow inside pine cones. However, before you run out to the backyard to start harvesting your own nuts, you should know that only a few species of pine trees produce pine nuts worth gathering.

— Cookthink

The Dish On ...

“Nuts in the Kitchen: More Than 100 Recipes for Every Taste and Occasion,” by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Internationally renowned food expert Susan Herrmann Loomis has put together a comprehensive collection of more than 100 nut recipes for every meal and every taste. “Nuts in the Kitchen” is an omnivore’s delight — a treat for vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious eaters looking for balanced diets rich in flavor — offering a host of surprising, sophisticated, wonderfully inventive new uses for this delectable, protein-packed ingredient.

- Amazon

Food Quiz answer

A: All are correct.

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