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Cooking 101: Nuts

Asnow89 November 6, 2013 User blog:Asnow89

What is a nut?

A nut is a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed, where the hard-shelled fruit does not open to release the seed. In a culinary context, a wide variety of dried seeds are often called nuts, but in a botanical context, only ones that include the indehiscent fruit are considered true nuts.

Types of Nuts

Cooking with Nuts

  • If you toast nuts in the oven or in a sauté pan, it enhances their flavor.
  • Store nuts in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 months, in the refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for a year or more.
  • For best quality, select clean, unshelled nuts free from splits, cracks and holes.
  • Nuts in the shell should be heavy for their size, indicating a fresh, meaty kernel. Nutmeats that rattle in their shell are usually stale.


On Their Own:

Nuts are great on their own, toasted, or with a little extra spice. These recipes are easy to make and they are perfect for an appetizer or snack.
Recipes: Spiced Nuts, American-style Granola, Glazed Nuts

Sauces with Nuts:

Nuts make sauces creamier, thicker, and richer. You will find nuts typically in pesto sauces, but here are a few varieties that maybe you haven't tried yet.
Recipes: Macadamia Nut Pesto, Vegan Béchamel Sauce, Mushroom and Almond Pâté

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Desserts with Nuts:

Nuts add a crunchy, extra layer to sweet desserts. A majority of desserts include nuts, pecans and walnuts in particular. Here are some great nutty dessert recipes for the Fall and Winter months!
Recipes: Apple Streusel Cobbler with Nuts and Oats and Cinnamon, Chocolate Nut Tartlets, Sandra's Mississippi Mud Pie, Baked Apples and Chestnut Purée

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