Words: Shamim de Brún
November is an explosive time of year. Some people are getting geared up to erect their Christmas Trees, and others are sporting facial hair for Movember. There’s also a campaign called ‘No Nut November’. No Nut November is all about avoiding a very common thing – nuts! This means no nuts for four weeks and two days, or seven hundred and twenty hours.
#NoNutNovember, is commonly known by its more discreet abbreviation #NNN. The hashtag started springing up on Twitter in the early 2010s. The first record of the challenge was November 3 2011 on Urban Dictionary. Nutting as an expression has been in use since the 1930s. Apparently, it can also be used to mean, hard work, excitement, or to lose your temper. Ironically, all emotions are likely to plague an individual embarking on their No Nut November journey.
No Nut November, like Veganuary and Movember, is just one of the many monthly sensations that sweep the internet annually. For many, nuts make up a solid portion of their life. Going without is a genuine challenge. It’s time to start replacing healthy hazelnut and pecan snacks. This can be particularly hard if you’re a regular nutter.
But anyone who loves a good nut will tell you that not all nuts are nuts. Many “culinary” nuts are nothing of the sort. Technically speaking, hazelnuts, acorns, and chestnuts are the real deal. They’ve got that fancy biological label because they form when a flower’s ovary wall gets all swole and tough after some fertilization action. These are all off-limits for NNN.
So hold on to your nutcrackers, ’cause many of those so-called “culinary” nuts are nothing but imposters in the nut world. Here are five nuts that aren’t nuts that will help get you through No Nut November.
Any pub quiz lord will tell you that Monkey Nuts are just peanuts in their shells, and peanuts are legumes, not a nut. It’s cousins with peas, soybeans, lentils, and chickpeas. So that means the star ingredient of the world’s favourite nut butter isn’t off the menu for NNN. If you feel like you really need to nut guilt-free, get yourself a jar of Harry’s Nut Butter, a spoon and then go to town.
Speaking of drupes, cashews are another one. The trail mix staples poke out of red, yellow, or green “cashew apples” that grow on South American trees. If you’ve ever seen a picture of how they grow, you’ll know that it’s genuinely baffling. But if you’re getting teste, then cashews are the nut dupe to go for this NNN because they are rich in tryptophan, a neurochemical that our bodies turn into serotonin. They are also rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium, which are essential for overall health and for controlling mood swings. And moods do be swinging all over the gaff during NNN.
Walnuts are among the ‘actually a seed’ clan. And they are great for venting frustration during NNN because you have to crack your way into them! Getting your anger out is cathartic and can help dissipate hostility. So if you’re feeling hostile this NNN without your nuts, then the act of cracking a walnut can make you feel strong, releases tension, and is thought to be stress-relieving. Also, walnuts taste even better when you have gotten them out of their shell with your bare hands. Especially if you pair them with something sweet.
Pine nuts are the fanciest of all the not-nuts on this list. They’re smaller, cuter and have a subtle sweet flavour. They also happen to cost a small fortune. Which makes them the perfect little treat for when you need a pick-me-up during NNN. There is something about treating yourself to something that you would never usually spend money on that gives you a little psychological boost. So if you’re feeling a little sad this NNN, just think of all the pesto you could make with a few pine not-nuts and some basil. That will put the pep back in your step!
So now you have all the not-nuts you need to help you get through No Nut November. Good luck! We believe in you.
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