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The Cookus Cupboard: Nuts and Dried Fruit

Sponsored by PCC Natural Markets, the largest consumer-owned natural foods cooperative in the United States. Nine locations in the Puget Sound area.

Nuts and seeds are delicious, whole foods that contain many beneficial nutrients; for example almonds are rich in calcium, pumpkin seeds are high in iron.  Nuts and seeds contain high-quality fats.  The added calories and healthful fats can be useful for pregnant or nursing moms and active children.  Buy organic nuts whenever possible.
Dried fruits are an excellent whole foods way to add sweetness to cereals and baked goods.  Also a fun way to add sweet tones to savory dishes.


Add to morning grains, granola, fruit salad, cookies and quick breads.
dried cherries Use dried cherries instead of raisins for a new twist in flavor.  Get the "tart" ones!

dried cranberries

Essential for Our Favorite Salad, nice added to Stuffed Chicken Breasts or Massaged Kale Salad in place of raisins


Tamari Roasted Almonds are a favorite snack.  Keeping toasted nuts around to add to Nappa Cabbage Slaw or Fried Brown Rice makes short work of additional flavor and texture.


Sweet Glazed Walnuts send me.  These omega-3 rich nuts make a nice addition to salads or Steel Cut Oats

sunflower seeds
Economical and nutritious.  Use them in granola, sprinkle on grain salads.  Gotta have em for Maple Butter Nut Granola.

pine nuts

A little pricey but necessary for pesto, but add just the right touch to Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and Mary's Kalamata Tapenade..

almond butter

Good to keep a nut butter in stock for sauces or to add a creamy base to soups.  Peanut butter fine.  Cashew butter also good.  Crunchy or creamy
? ask Steve.


Nuts are found in nature in their own perfect storage container, protecting the fats from going rancid.  The shell protects the nut or seed from heat, air and light.  Nuts in the shell are not very widely available however.  After you purchase raw, shelled nuts or seeds it is a good idea to mimic nature and keep them in a sealed container in a dark cold place.  I keep mine in the freezer.

Dried fruit can be kept in a sealed container on the shelf.  Keeping them away from light will also lengthen shelf life.


Rebekah Kelly
have to say that almonds are my fav! I soak my walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc. in a certain amount of sea salt and warm water overnight, then drain and dehydrate them in my Excalibur. I follow the directions in the Nourishing Traditions book and boy are they DEE-lish and the soaking process allows my body to really benefit from all the nutrition the nuts have to offer. Happy shopping and eating!
April 7, 2010, 5:57 pm

Sarah Cline
I love walnuts and pecans, but my 2 year old is allergic to them... BOOOO! So my acceptable fav nut is now the almond. My girlie's are cashews. We like to make nut milk with Brazil nuts too... I hear they are a good source of selenium.
April 7, 2010, 7:02 pm

Who/what is my favourite nut? Well, thats gotta be Jane. No, make that Steve. Wait, I meant Phil. But Ward cracks me up. Ginger is cool too. Ok ok, ignore all of that, it's Cynthia... ;-)
April 7, 2010, 7:28 pm

Joel Saenz
The new trend is to soak your nuts in water to remove the digestive enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. One of my favorite nuts has got to be almonds because they are so versatile. I love almond butter, I usually finish the whole jar in two days with only a spoon.
April 7, 2010, 8:39 pm

Jane is my favourite nut.
April 7, 2010, 9:49 pm

Sabrina M
raw almonds are my fave, but I love toasted pine nuts on my greens pizza! & Dried cranberries in a green salad w/ those aforementioned pine nuts & a tart apple....yummy!
April 7, 2010, 11:34 pm

Jenna Lutz
My favorites aren't on the list, alas. Cashews (and the resulting joy that is freshly ground Cashew butter) are always in the cupboards - they never stay long enough to need the fridge - and pumpkin seeds are my go to snack and crunch adder. Granted, that's mainly because I'm allergic to almonds, walnuts, and pecans!
April 8, 2010, 9:17 am

Theta Drivon
I follow Sally Fallon's recommendation to soak all nuts and seeds in salted water, then dry them out in a dehydrator. I've found this takes away any bitterness, and makes them much more digestible (see Joel's comment). Plus they taste better, being slightly salted (but still technically raw).
November 26, 2010, 10:41 am

Alona Lopez
yogurt with dried fruits and nuts are my favorite. And really suits to my diet. Its really healthy, especially when on snacks.
March 12, 2017, 9:24 am

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