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.
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
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
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