Everything you want to know about nuts...
Contain a high concentration of omega-3 fats and because of this high concentration of fats go rancid very quickly. Shelled nuts should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for no longer than six months. Used in sweet and savoury dishes.
Have a creamy flavour and a crunchy texture. They are high in fat, but do not contain any cholesterol.
The healthiest way to eat these nuts is unsalted and lightly roasted. Used in sweet or savoury dishes. Macadamia nut butter is available as an alternative to peanut butter.
Have a lower fat content than most other nuts. About 75 percent of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, 75 percent of which is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.
Contain nearly 91 percent monounsaturated fat and less than four percent saturated fat. An excellent source of protein, especially for vegetarians. Often associated with chocolate spread.
These nuts are considered exotic because they are used mainly in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. They have many health benefits – 30g of pistachio nuts, about 49 nuts, contains more than 10 percent of the daily requirement of dietary fibre. You can get more from a serving of pistachios than half a cup of broccoli or spinach.
The good fats in pecan nuts help to lower cholesterol levels. Pecans are often substituted for walnuts and are used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
LAMB CHOPS WITH PISTACHIO PESTO
100g shelled pistachio nuts
250ml fresh breadcrumbs
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml freshly grated Parmesan cheese
good handful of fresh basil
125 -150ml olive oil
salt and pepper
8 lamb chops
extra olive oil
Place nuts, breadcrumbs, rind, garlic, Parmesan and basil into a food processor and blend to form a paste.
With machine running, add in the oil and process to form a thick sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the sauce and set aside.
Brush the chops with olive oil and cook on a griddle pan for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with the pesto.
500g mixed, unsalted nuts
1 egg white, lightly whipped
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam marsala
pinch of ground chilli
10ml salt flakes
45ml brown sugar
Place the nuts into a mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients.
Toss well to coat nuts with spices.
Spread nuts on to a large baking tray in a single layer and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until nuts are no longer sticky.
Switch off the oven and leave the nuts in for another 15 minutes.
This is delicious served as nibbles with drinks.
SPINACH AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI WALNUT SAUCE
1 slice of white bread
100g walnuts, lightly toasted
45ml chopped parsley
500g spinach-and-ricotta-filled ravioli
Soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes, then squeeze out and discard milk.
Roughly chop the nuts, reserving a few for garnishing.
Process bread, walnuts, garlic and parsley in a food processor until it forms a paste.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cream.
Season to taste. Cook ravioli and drain, retaining a little of the cooking liquid.
Return pasta to the pan and add the sauce. If necessary, add in a little cooking liquid to make the sauce creamier. Serve sprinkled with nuts.
Makes 1 cake
180g butter, softened
250ml golden brown sugar
3 extra large eggs
7ml baking powder
pinch of salt
45ml chocolate spread
50g hazelnuts, skins removed and roughly chopped
extra chocolate spread for topping
Combine butter and sugar in a big bowl and beat until creamy.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
Spoon half the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm cake pan.
Place spoonfuls of chocolate spread over mixture and top with remaining mixture.
Sprinkle hazelnuts evenly over surface. Bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
Turn cake out on to cooling rack. Drizzle with chocolate spread when completely cooled.
To skin hazelnuts, place them on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Place hot nuts on a clean tea towel, fold over the towel and rub vigorously until the skins are removed.