About 3 Great Nuts

ABOUT HAZELNUTS

In folklore it is believed that hazelnuts became known as “filberts” because they were ready to harvest on St. Philbert’s Day. But they were being eaten in China 5000 years ago and were harvested by Romans. In 2838 B.C. they were said to be among the five sacred foods that God gave to human beings. Long ago these nuts were also used as a medicine.

STORING
Hazelnuts can be stored for a longer period than most nuts. Put them in plastic bags, either shelled or unshelled, in the refrigerator at about 32 degrees for one year, or in the freezer for two years. When ready to use them, let them warm to room temperature before opening the bag.

USING
Hazelnuts are added to all kinds of foods, including main dishes and desserts. They are especially tasty with coffee and chocolate, and are a main ingredient in Nutella. When roasted they give an added flavor to berry and chocolate desserts such as cobblers, and are often ground and used in cakes and pastries. They have a bitter skin that is usually removed before using in recipes. To remove the skin, roast them at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes. While still hot pick them up with a dry towel and rub them until the skin comes off.

NAMES
They are called “cobnuts” or “hazels” in the United States.

NUTRITION
These nuts are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are a protection against many diseases and cancers.

ABOUT MACADAMIAS

For thousands of years aborigines ate macadamia nuts that were native to Australian rainforests.

CRACKING
Macadamias have the hardest shell of any nut, and they are very difficult to crack. There are several suggestions on the Internet for cracking them, but it saves a lot of frustration to buy them already shelled.

USING
There are many ways to use ground macadamias – to flavor ground meat, poultry and fish dishes; added to pastry dough or shaken onto pie crust before adding the filling. To grind them, the easiest way is to pulse them in a food processor. Don’t do it too long or they will turn into nut butter. If you accidentally grind them until they start to get creamy, keep grinding until they are smooth and spreadable. You can add a little honey to give them a sweeter taste.
Macadamia nuts can be used the same as other nuts in most recipes. They add a flavorful crunch to baked goods like cookies and cakes, and spruce up salads and other foods where you use nuts. They go really well with coconut, chocolate and fish.

ROASTING
They have more flavor if they are toasted before they are cooked in a recipe. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them for about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees until they are golden brown. You can use a toaster oven, but bake them half as long. Let them get cool before you grind or chop them so they don’t get oily or lose their shape.Toast only as many as you need because they won’t keep as well as raw nuts.

NUTRITION
Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fatty acid and help reduce cholesterol. They also have high amounts of minerals and protein.

ABOUT PISTACHIOS

Pistachios go back 9,000 years, and are mentioned in the Bible. It is said that the Queen of Sheba liked them so much that she took the whole harvest just for herself.

NAMES
Pistachios are known by various names – “smiling nut” in Iran, “happy nut” in China, and green almonds in other places.

USING
Some cooks use shelled pistachios to top rice or other dishes the same way they would with other nuts. They can also be used instead of pine nuts as the base of pesto and in sweets. They are used in desserts, such as ice cream and cookies, on salads, sprinkled on roasted squash, and stirred into pasta. You can even make your own pistachio butter!

NUTRITION
It is said that pistachios contain more anti-oxidants than green tea. They have a lot of vitamins, fiber and nutrients, and help to reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also a source of protein.

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