Are you one of those people who absolutely love flavored nuts? It's hard to say no to them because they are a healthy snack and gluten-free. Whether you prefer spiced nuts or something a little different, it's important to understand the 11 types/varieties of nuts to get started.
Pistachios originated from the Middle East and Western Asia. Though it's technically a seed, it is in many dishes, such as halvah, haroseth, and baklava. California pistachios dominate the market for the US, but there are many other varieties that are just as flavorful.
Hazelnuts are round and play a huge role in Nutella. They offer woodsy notes and can bring out the chocolate's nuttiness, so it's a match made in heaven. You can eat them raw, but roasting them and removing the skin enhances the flavor and crunchiness.
Cashews are crescent-shaped nuts found in South America, but they're now in Thai and Indian cuisines because of trading. They feature a slightly neutral flavor, though they bring texture, crunch, and shape to recipes. Likewise, many people use cashew milk instead of traditional cow's milk.
Walnuts are popular for baking, and you can often find them in the shell if they're in season. The ruffled flesh has many tannins, which gives them a slightly bitter and dry taste. However, they pair well with sweet flavors, providing a more savory taste to any recipe.
5. Marcona Almonds
While traditional almonds are round, flat, and sweet, Marcona almonds come from Spain. They're often pre-cooked (roasted or fried) and salted to be the perfect salty snack. If you wish to bake or cook with them, they should be raw.
6. Macadamia Nuts
Originally, macadamia nuts were only available in Australia and Hawaii. They feature a buttery flavor and pair well with fish when chopped. Likewise, baking with them is easy.
Peanuts are technically legumes, but they're called nuts because of their culinary usage. They're available year-round and have a low price, but a single cup of peanuts features 40 grams of protein, making it a protein-rich snack.
Unlike other nuts, almonds are sold slivered, sliced, whole, blanched, and more. You can also pulverize them and create flour for flourless cakes and torts. Their mildly sweet flavor is excellent for cooking, and they're a best-seller for sure.
9. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are also called cream nuts and paranuts. They're elongated and giant, found mainly in Brazil. Just two of these mild-flavored nuts give you all the vitamin E and selenium you need and have other health benefits.
10. Pine Nuts
The pine nut comes from pine trees and is imported from Italy and China. They often feature a chewy, soft texture and are pleasing when roasted or added to pesto.
Pecans are native to North America and feature a distinct place in history. They've been used in many dishes and are often grown in Texas and Georgia. In fact, the favored way to eat them is as spiced nuts, which make for a delicious and gluten-free snack!
A Helpful Spiced Nuts Recipe to Enjoy
Spiced nuts are one of the most popular snacks on the market, and this recipe can help you:
- Light brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted walnuts or pecans
- Egg white
- Vanilla extract
The prep time is about 5 minutes, and it should take 35 minutes to cook.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together 1/2 cup of each sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon of vanilla, your egg white, and 1 teaspoon of water until frothy. Toss the pecans to ensure they're well coated. You can also add some maple syrup to the mixture.
Making Sure the Spices Stick
Pour the spices over the nuts, tossing until everything is covered. Spread them on the baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove and allow to completely cool.
Tips for Buying Nuts
- Nuts are expensive, so you want to buy in bulk.
- Store them in the freezer in airtight containers.
- Roast nuts before cooking with them unless you're baking. Put them in the oven, spreading them into a single layer on the baking sheet. Put them in for 10 to 12 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Consider adding nuts to salads, dishes made with eggs, and more.
Enjoy Flavored Nuts All the Time!
Whether you're looking at spiced nuts because they're a best-seller or want other flavors, they're all addicting and delicious. Learning about the different options will help you try new things!