It’s true what they say: good things come in small quantities. Nuts and seeds have so much to offer your cooking. They’re packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and add texture to boot. It’s no surprise that more and more people are looking for new ways to incorporate nuts and seeds into their cooking. That’s why Carolina® Rice is here to show you how easy it is to jazz up your rice meals with nuts and seeds. From delicious main courses to delightful desserts, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, let’s look at some easy ways to add crunch to your recipes.

Benefits of Consuming Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, as well as being an excellent source of energy. As far as ingredients go, they couldn’t be more versatile. You can have them raw or add them to cooked dishes. Furthermore, they are an excellent method to add a protein boost to vegan and vegetarian meals. Let’s look at some of the most suitable nuts to add to rice dishes and what you can make with them.

Adding Nuts to Salad

Mango, Pecan & Brown Rice Salad

Salads are a popular choice both for lunch and dinner meals. That’s probably down to the fact that they are quick and easy to rustle up, not to mention extremely flexible in terms of ingredients. If you want to liven up your salad recipes, then nuts and seeds are the way to go. Here’s a quick review of just some of the best nuts and seeds to add to salads.

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios

With these in mind, we’ve got two fantastic salad ideas for you! This Asian Chicken & Jasmine Rice Salad gets a flavor boost from the simple addition of sweet and crispy cashew nuts. Alternatively, if you enjoy a little fruit in your salads, try this Mango, Pecan & Brown Rice Salad. It’s the ideal salad to bring on a picnic. 

Cooking With Pine Nuts

With their nutty aroma and sweet flavor, it’s no surprise that pine nuts are so popular in rice recipes. Their distinctive flavor makes them ideal for use in savory dishes. They don’t have the same hard and crunchy texture as most other nuts, so they go especially well with grains like rice and quinoa. The addition of pine nuts to this Brown Rice & Shiitake Pilaf enhances the texture and flavor of the dish. Similarly, pine nuts are ideal in basmati rice salads. You’ll appreciate how they elevate this Moroccan Chicken and Rice Salad recipe. 

Brown Rice & Shiitake Pilaf
Brown Rice Shiitake Pilaf

Pistachio Nuts in Rice Recipes.

Pistachios, which have a savory flavor and an earthy aroma, are another excellent choice when you want to add something extra to your meals. They have a soft, chewy texture and that’s probably why they go so well with our Pistachio, Cream and Pancetta Rice. Made with Carolina® Wholegrain Brown Rice, it’s a fragrant dish with a broad range of ingredients—cranberries, red onion, pancetta bacon—and satisfies in much the same manner as a traditional risotto recipe.

Insta-worthy Desserts with Almonds

We’ve already seen how nuts and seeds may enhance salads and main courses, so now let’s look at ways to improve your favorite dessert recipes. What better place to begin than with America’s favorite dessert, the humble rice pudding! This Rompope Rice Pudding is sweet, creamy, and fragrant with a sprinkle of crunchy almonds atop. Similarly, Almond Milk Rice Pudding adds a distinct flavor to our favorite rice pudding.

Almond Milk Rice Pudding

How To Make Homemade Almond Milk

It is official: almond milk is conquering the world! These days, most stores sell a diverse choice of brands and varieties of almond milk to fulfill customer demand. What you probably didn’t realize is that making homemade almond milk is relatively straightforward. Simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Place 1 cup of almonds in a bowl to soak overnight in water.
  2. Drain the water and put almonds into the blender.
  3. Add 2 cups of water.
  4. Blend for approximately 1 minute, until no large chunks are visible in the mix. 
  5. Strain and serve
  6. Cooking tip: to give your almond milk a little sweetness, add honey or vanilla extract.

Unleash the Power of Chia Seeds for Breakfast

If you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Carolina® Rice has a powerful new breakfast recipe to help you start your day well. This Jasmine Rice & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl combines fragrant jasmine rice with nutty, protein-packed quinoa and fiber-rich chia seeds to provide you with a breakfast that will help you put your best foot forward first thing in the morning. Visit our rice breakfasts blog to learn more about how to make breakfast more enjoyable.

At Carolina® Rice, we believe that it’s good to #playwithyourfood. To play is to experiment, and when it comes to recipes using nuts and seeds, it couldn’t be easier to do so. Be sure to follow our blog for more expert advice and cooking tips.

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