Nuts and nuts are a part of the diet of all healthy eaters. They are considered good sources of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. In addition, they can also help with protein supplementation. Nuts have a wide range of uses:
- nut oils are particularly useful in cold cooking, but warm cooking is no exception;
- nut butters are a popular ingredient in porridges, puddings, desserts and sauces;
- nut flours are the perfect alternative to conventional flours, and are particularly suitable for coeliacs. However, they contain higher amounts of fat.
- Vegetable drinks/milks made from nuts are an alternative for lactose intolerant individuals, those with cow's milk protein allergy or vegans.
- They are also used, for example, in cosmetics or alcohol production.
Most often, however, we buy nuts as a healthy treat for TV, a snack, a small treat for a visitor or together with other dried fruits as a healthy snack on the go. They also find their place in many salads and soups.
How to store nuts properly
Because of their unsaturated fat content, most nuts can undergo a rancidity process that can be accelerated in the presence of light, heat and moisture. One of the best ways to extend the life of nuts is to store them in sealed containers in the refrigerator or freezer. For short‑term storage, it is a good idea not to put nuts in plastic bags, which can contribute to mould.
Types of nuts
- Peanuts - Although they are a legume, few people would not look for peanuts in the Nuts section. However, due to their origin, they have a high protein content. The peanut butter made from them is one of the most popular fitness foods ever.
- Cashews - Kidney nuts are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc and copper. Making a vegan alternative to cheese is becoming increasingly popular - just soak cashews overnight, and grind in blenders along with other spices.
- Coconut - an atypical representative of the nut, finds its firm place at Christmas, when it is added in grated form to a plethora of sweets. In the form of coconut chips, it serves as a garnish or to liven up some dishes.
- Hazelnuts - hazelnuts are high in vitamin E, magnesium and copper, as well as unsaturated fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. They are particularly popular for making chocolates.
- Macadamia nuts - Macadamia nuts are one of the lesser known, but also more expensive nuts due to their low availability. They are characterised by their high proportion of healthy fats (around 75 %) and their buttery taste.
- Almonds - loaded with fibre and vitamin E, they are one of the most popular nuts. Eating them with the skin on gives them their typical bitter taste. Whole almonds go well with wine, and chopped almonds can be used to garnish desserts.
- Steam the nuts - Just one Brazil nut can meet the recommended daily allowance of selenium. Para nuts are also rich in healthy fats.
- Pecans - Pecans are to Anglo‑Saxon countries what walnuts are to us, but unlike walnuts they are higher in fat and have a buttery taste. As well as being eaten on their own, they also find a use in confectionery.
- Pine nuts - the edible seeds of the pine tree have a sweet, buttery taste and are used particularly in the production of Italian pesto. However, due to the time‑consuming harvesting process, they are among the most expensive nuts.
- Pistachios - Pistachio nuts are easily recognisable due to their greenish colour. Nutritionally, they are valued for their antioxidant and colouring content, which contribute to eye health.
- Walnuts - One of the healthiest nuts, they are rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids or folic acid. Walnuts are one of the most common nuts in our country, which makes them very popular in confectionery or in making nutella.