Nuts for Nuts? Learn More About Them!
What’s your go-to snack? Are you partial to some mini-pretzels? Or perhaps, you’re keen on a combination of ingredients like trail mix? How about just some energy-dense variety-wide nuts? In today’s blog, we’ll talk about these edible kernels. Plus, disclose their highly nutritional value!
Different Types of Nuts
Nuts are fruit consisting of hard or tough nutshells protecting a kernel which is usually edible. In a botanical sense, the shell does not open open to release the seed. However, many fruits such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and Brazil nuts do not adhere to this classification. Instead, “culinary nuts” is their official name.
As you probably know, these fruits come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and flavours. As well as origins. Keep reading to see how they are defined!
This fruit is a drupe consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell, the endocarp, containing a single seed. They are sold shelled or unshelled and originate from Iran. Blanched almonds have the shells removed and are treated with hot water. This softens the seed coat thus making it easier to remove. The taste of almonds has three flavour phenotypes: sweet, slightly bitter, and bitter.
Not technically a nut, this fruit is native to tropical South America. What’s more, it’s gathered from forest trees growing in the wild. They are hard-shelled seeds borne in a hard, woody capsule. Smooth and buttery in texture, they have a delicious nutty taste.
Thick-shelled and seed-bearing drupe, cashews come from the fleshy stalk known as a cashew apple. Originating in northeaster Brazil, they have a mild flavour and creamy, rich texture.
Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, chestnuts grow in spiny, cup-shaped cases. Preparation includes baking them. What’s more, their slight sweet flavour makes them a perfect meat-substitute for a vegetarian dish.
You might think of coconuts as a fruit but, as their name implies, they are actually nuts! Containing both flesh and water, this dry drupe is surrounded by a fibrous husk. Grown throughout the tropics, coconuts have a very distinct flavour.
Used to make Nutella, these fruit are botanically a “true nut” and grow inside a hard casing. Their popularity in desserts is due to their flavouring has slight musty and earthy notes.
Indigenous to Australia and a staple for the Aboriginal peoples, macadamias are hard, woody, and contain one or two seeds. They have a rich, subtly sweet taste, thus pairing well with lemon, coffee, and coconut.
Believed to have been cultivated for 10,000 years, peanuts are a legume. The fruit is a papery pod containing one or more nut-like seeds. Raw, they taste more like peas, but otherwise they have a traditional nutty flavour.
Originating in southern United States and northern Mexico, pecans have a green, semi-fleshy husk. Found in pies at Thanksgiving, their unique flavour boasts a sweet nutty and buttery profile.
A staple in making pesto, this fruit extract from woody cones. They are similar to cashews in taste.
Born from desert trees in Central Asia, these are single seeds in a hard cream-coloured shell. This casing abruptly open when ripe. A brilliant green, pistachio have a slightly sweet earthy flavour.
Often added to desires, walnuts come in two varieties: one originating in Iran and the other in the eastern United States. With a hard shell, these fruit are mild, earthy, and a little tangy in flavour.
Nuts are the perfect healthy snack option because they:
- are high in healthy fats (monounsaturated, omega-6, and omega-3)
- are good sources of fibre and protein
- pack a number of vitamins and minerals including magnesium and vitamin E
- Reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels