Monday, December 19, 2005

A Nutty Problem

Is anyone else shocked at the rise in almond prices over the last four years? In 2001, I was paying about $3.50 for a pound of raw almonds at Trader Joe's. Now, I see a similar bag for $5.69!

Is this the result of higher tariffs on imported almonds? Bad crop yields? Or the need to pasteurize raw almonds (which yielded an almond with a soft, stale-like texture (yech) -- I quickly stopped buying those!)

In any case, I have started to shop around for a substitute nut to satisfy my breakfast and snacking needs. I may have found it: Trader Joe's raw pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)! At only $3.49 per pound, they are relatively cheap and may have health benefits for the prostate, urinary tract infection, learning disorders and depression.

Havng a somewhat smokey flavor when eaten raw, some people may not like them. However, when toasted the pumpkin seed takes on a mild peanut-y flavor. When I sprinkle them on Trader Joe's Natural Granola, the combination makes for a nice sweet and nutty cereal. I know there are already nuts in the granola, but not enough for my taste.

What do you think about this combo?

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