About Nuts
with tips on Toasting Nuts

                                                 Photos complements of: 
Nuts for Life

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About Nuts     Selecting Nuts     Storing Nuts     Toasting Nuts

Nuts are Gods way of showing us that good things come in small packages. These bite-size nuggets are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Of course, you can get too much of a good thing, as nuts are high in fat and calories. A handful can hold you over until dinner, while a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. 

And even though nuts are a healthy choice, they quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.

Here is a bit about nuts and there uses in cooking and baking.


Almonds have more fiber, protein, and other nutrients than any other nut; they may even be good for your heart. Toasting improves their rather chewy texture and mild flavor.

Almonds are often ground  to make almond flour, used for baking, or to make a delicious nut butter or paste that can be used as a spread or for baking.

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Brazil Nuts

All though just two Brazil nuts provide contaub about 90 calories, the caloric equivalent of an egg, this nut  also has a high nutritional value. Of all the different types of nuts, Brazil nuts are the richest and most reliable food source of selenium. 

Just one Brazil nut can provide more than the daily recommended value of this important trace mineral.  They are also a great source of magnesium, which is vital for healthy nerves and muscles and may help relieve PMS.  

OH YEA! They taste good too.


These apostrophe-shaped nuts sprout from the bottom of a cashew apple, the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree. Because their shells contain a powerful, irritating oil, they are always sold shelled. 

Despite their creamy, smooth texture, which comes from a high starch content, cashews have less fat than most other nuts. Another candidate for nut butter, cashews are also common in baked goods and Asian meat dishes.

How to Make Nut Butter

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Chestnuts are the only low-fat nut, with a fraction of the calories of other types of nuts. They contain just 1 gram of fat and a little less than 70 calories per 30 grams of dried or roasted nuts. The downside is they're lower in vitamins and minerals. But they're still relatively nutritious and provide some carbohydrate. 

Of all the different types of nuts, chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C (one nut can  supply 45% of the RDA).

Great for  stuffings,  desserts  cakes and even in soups or roasted with winter vegetables. They are also a healthy, delicious, low fat snack right out of the bag!

For more on how to toast nuts CLICK HERE


Mostly grown in Turkey, hazelnuts pair well with chocolate and coffee and star in Nutella spread. These sweet-tasting nuts, also known as filberts, grow in clusters, their fuzzy outer husks giving way to the hard, smooth nuts inside.

Once the rather bitter mahogany skins are removed, the nuts are sweet and complement meats and sweets equally well.

How to skin nuts

These raw whole nuts are extremely versatile – try roasting them and skinning them, then chop to use in cookies or as a garnish for salads. You can also grind them into a paste and use in confections such as truffles or pralines, or as a base for ice cream or make into nut butter!

Macadamia Nuts

Of all the different types of nuts, macadamias are the fattiest (that's why they taste so wonderful!), although a large proportion of this is the healthy monounsaturated variety. Just go easy if you're watching your weight. 

These nuts are also rich in manganese, which plays a role in sex-hormones formation and protecting cells from free-radical damage.

Use them as a breading on fish and poultry, or puree and add to sauces for lamb and poultry. Crush and sprinkle over desserts, or even cover with melted chocolate for a rich confection.  They make a wonderful addition to Biscotti.

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For more on toasting nuts CLICK HERE


Peanuts are the most popular nuts in the United States—although technically they’re legumes, which explains why they look a lot like pea plants while growing. 

Most peanuts are made into oil or ground into butter, but they are delicious eaten out of hand. They are also used in baked goods or chopped to top Asian noodle dishes.

How to Make Nut Butter

More on Toasting Nuts CLICK HERE


An especially high fat content helps give pecans their rich, creamy, buttery taste. This native American nut is often used in pies and candies; it also combines well with cayenne and other spices in savory dishes. 

The thin shells break easily, which speeds decay, so if buying unshelled specimens, avoid any with cracked shells.  They are great eating right out of the bag, but try to save some for your pies, tarts and cookies.  Pecans are also excellent for salads with goat cheese and leafy greens. Raw pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut, making them a healthy snack.

For more on toasting nuts CLICK HERE

Pine Nuts

Also called piñon or pignoli nuts, these small, teardrop-shaped nuts are harvested from pine cones. Since the process is labor-intensive, they tend to be expensive...................................................

BUT... their delicate, piney flavor is delicious in everything from pesto to cookies and even Biscotti.

Tip: Watch them carefully when toasting, because they burn easily.

Sprinkle over salads, vegetables, pastas or soups as a garnish, use in pesto with fresh herbs, or toast them and snack on them right out of the bag!

More on Toasting Nuts CLICK HERE


Native to the Middle East, pistachios have a naturally tan shell (those with red or green shells have been dyed) and a pale green nut that’s high in calcium. The green color is the result of chlorophyll that develops as the seeds grow.  When buying unshelled pistachios, avoid those with fully closed shells, which indicates that the nutmeat is immature.

 A popular snack eaten raw, pistachios also give crunch and a nutty flavor to desserts like baklava.

Wonderful addition to any cheese board, these pistachios will look beautiful and taste delicious paired with some dried cherries and with Maytag or Castello Blue Cheeses.


Walnuts are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, making them especially susceptible to rancidity. When buying unshelled walnuts, it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator or the freezer. Popular in baked goods, versatile walnuts add crunch to salads or savory dishes.

The modern name walnut comes from the German ‘wallnuss’, meaning foreign nut. While ancient in name, walnuts are essential for health. 

They contain the highest source of natural plant omega 3s called alphalinoleic acid – ALA .  Walnuts are another nut that benifits greatly from toasting when use in baked goods

Eating walnuts is like wearing a seat belt for your heart!

For more on toasting nuts CLICK HERE

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