Nuts are one of nature’s perfect foods. Being a good supply of protein, unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (E and K), folic acid, minerals (including magnesium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, potassium, zinc), fibre, and antioxidants.
How to Cook With Nuts
While nuts are often used in sweet dishes like cookies, cakes and granola, they can also be a fantastic savoury ingredient. With their toasty, nutty flavour and pleasant crunch, organic nuts are a great way to add texture and richness to savoury dishes. Here are some creative ways to use nuts to enhance everyday cooking:
Toss sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecan pieces into your favourite salad for added crunch. You can also make salad toppings with nuts like candied pecans or maple walnuts. Try adding nuts to grain or pasta salads, too.
Make delicious nut crumbles by toasting nuts with herbs and spices. Almond crumbles are amazing on fish, chicken or salads. Toasted walnuts or pecans are perfect on top of roasted vegetables.
Blend roasted nuts into savoury sauces and pestos. Try cashew cream sauces, walnut pesto or an almond romesco sauce. These nut-based sauces add rich flavour to pasta, meat and veggies.
Throw some peanuts or cashews into your veggie stir-fry for some added protein and crunch. You can also use nut butter like almond or cashew butter to make flavourful Asian-inspired stir-fry sauces.
Bake bread stuffing with pecans and cranberries for Thanksgiving or chicken stuffing with almonds and herbs. You can also try stuffing mushrooms with walnuts, garlic and cheese.
Crust meats, fish or tofu with finely chopped nuts before baking or pan-frying. Some delicious combinations are almonds with chicken, walnuts with salmon or pecans with pork chops.
Bake nuts into loaves of bread, muffins, pancakes and scones for a more protein-packed treat. Some ideas are pecan banana bread, walnut zucchini muffins or almond cherry scones.
For easy appetisers, brush veggies with olive oil and roll them in finely chopped nuts. Try nuts like almonds, cashews or pistachios on cauliflower florets, green beans, asparagus spears or broccoli.
Make snack bars by combining nuts with dried fruit, oats, seeds and nut butter. Some tasty combinations are almond-cranberry bars, pecan-coconut bars or pistachio-apricot bars.
Homemade trail mixes are a great on-the-go snack. Mix your favourite nuts with seeds, dried fruit and perhaps some dark chocolate chunks or coconut flakes.
With their versatility, rich flavour and nutritional benefits, nuts are a fantastic ingredient to incorporate into both sweet and savoury recipes. Whether you prefer almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews or peanuts, nuts can easily enhance the flavours of your everyday home cooking.
So next time you cook, think beyond the nut bowl and get creative with nuts in appetisers, mains, side dishes and desserts. With some experimentation and a little practice, every dish you make can have a satisfying nutty crunch and delicious flavour.