100 Calories of Pecans & Helpful Comparison Chart of Nut Nutrition

pecan photoThrow pecans into casseroles or roasted vegetables or even soups to give it some texture. Just be careful — like all nuts, pecan calories add up with little volume.

I was curious last year about which nuts had the best ratio of fat and protein to calories. I looked up nutritional information on the web and calculated those ratios. You can see my calculations in the table below, sorted by best ratio of protein to calorie. The higher the ratio, the better the protein content. For fat to calorie ratio, a lower number is more desirable if you are trying to reduce fat intake.  The important take-away for me was the discovery of the overall best choices: peanuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, in that order. I am very pleased that pistachios are high on the list for best choices in both categories.

You might notice I did not include walnuts. You are on your own there; I have a walnut allergy and did not bother to research a food I will never eat. Also, please note that these are just estimates and that I am going by values gleaned off the internet. Use at your own risk.

I also did a chart of nutritional values of seeds, but I’ll save that for another day.

Nut Serving protein : calorie fat : calorie
Peanuts 1/2 cup raw, 2.5oz 0.045 0.087
Pistachios 1/2 cup shelled, 2oz 0.037 0.080
Almonds raw, unblanched, 1/2 cup, 2.5oz 0.037 0.088
Cashews 1/2 cup dry-roasted, 2.4oz 0.027 0.081
Brazil nuts 1/2 cup, shelled (16 kernels), 2.5oz 0.025 0.117
Hazelnuts (filberts) 1/2 cup shelled, 2.5oz 0.024 0.097
Pecans 1/2 cup, halves, 2.4oz 0.013 0.104
Macadamia nuts 1/2 cup, 2.3oz 0.011 0.106
Coconut meat 1/2 medium coconut (4.5″ d, 7 oz) 0.009 0.095
Chestnuts 15-18 nuts, 2.5oz 0.008 0.006

100 Calories of Forbidden Rice

Forbidden Rice

Ah rice, how tasty you are. Unfortunately, rice is ridiculously high in calories. Approximately 35g dry is 100 calories.This is less than white rice at approximately 126 calories. Forbidden rice is purple, which looks beautiful on the plate.

Rice was one of the foods I missed the most when I was dieting. It was not filling and used up too many of my allotted daily calories, so I nixed it.

100 Calories of Carrots

carrotsCarrots: handy as snacks, but taste like new carpet. I have a love-hate relationship with them. They juice beautifully and they taste better cooked.

100 Calories Of Uncooked Thin Spaghetti

uncooked thin spaghettiA  small bowl of undercooked thin spaghetti with a bit of butter and/or cream cheese makes a good late night snack.  The little crunchy centers are entertaining and it satisfies my need to have a treat.  It is one of the foods I used to consistently overeat because I did not understand its calorie content.

100 Calories of Popcorn and Butter

popcorn kernalsIt turns out, popcorn with butter is my ‘perfect food’ for breaking a 2.5 day calorie-curtailment.  I’m not going to use the word ‘fast’ because I did eat a little each day: carrot juice, broth, and seitan.  Sadly, I made the mistake of guessing how many calories are in popcorn and butter instead of weighing them out.  I ended up eating about 800 calories of popcorn and butter.  Oops!

My conclusion about “fasting” is that while it isn’t particularly difficult, over time it was no more effective at weight loss than a smaller daily caloric reduction.  However, I felt good about the self-control involved.  A small good thing in these troubling times of revolution and natural disaster.

Pat o' ButterWhen I started paying more attention to what I was eating, I began to eat higher quality foods.  The increase in price is offset by the reduction in quantity.  Now I enjoy things like Danish butter.  I vastly prefer the flavor and texture to the more commonly available brands.

100 Calories of Homemade Seitan

seitan

UPDATE: I made seitan again, correcting the mistakes I made below, as well as adding more broth while mixing. I cooked it in a simple consomme with carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, celery greens, tamari and red wine.  It is divine and the seitan is perfect.

ORIGINAL POST: This was my first attempt at making Seitan.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  I found a simple recipe.  I probably should have read up a bit on it first because I made a couple mistakes, such as pre-heating the simmering water and accidentally letting the simmering water boil.  While this batch is tasty and satisfying, it is a bit too chewy, a likely outcome of the two mistakes.

Seitan, in case you are unfamiliar, is a dumpling made of wheat gluten.  Wheat gluten is what remains after rinsing the starch out of wheat.  You can buy pre-washed wheat in the form of “vital wheat gluten” at the grocery. What is great about seitan is it is very high in protein, low in fat, and versatile in cooking.  It is also quite dense, which is very satisfying.  Density in food is rare when you are vegetarian, so it is a nice break from the usual.

Also, if you can not eat tofu, it is a great substitute.  You can bake and stir-fry it, or you can simply layer it in a sandwich.  I like a seitan sandwich with tomato, avocado, mayo, and swiss.

A 100 Calories Of Quiz

Do you think you know what 100 Calories looks like? You can quiz yourself at this Women’s Day site. The site will show you pairs of images of different snacks and you guess which of the two is 100 calories.

I am a “Master Snacker” at identifying which of the shown portions are 100 Calories.   I missed a few.  I will continue to weigh out 100 Calories for the masses.  I take requests.

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