From toasted to soaked: 3 ways to prepare nuts
While nuts have a delicious natural favour, there are plenty of different ways to prepare them that build upon this great flavour base.
The best way to prepare nuts can depend on a variety of factors. From the type of nut, to how you want to use it, there are a range of preparation methods available to make the most of your nuts and help take their crunch, texture and flavours to a whole new level. Here are some of our favourite was to prepare nuts:
If you’re wanting a nice crunch to them and more depth of flavour, then you’ll always want to toast nuts before adding them to your recipes. This will ensure that the flavours are heard when surrounded by strong-tasting ingredients like chocolate, as well as maintaining their crunchy texture.
Toasted nuts can be added to your breakfast granola, used as a topping on cheesecakes, added to salads and even used in desserts. You can toast your nuts in a pan on the cooktop, but you need to keep an careful eye on them to stop them from burning or being scorched. Simply hold the pan over the high heat and shake or swirl the pan regularly to keep them in motion until they’re lightly browned.
Tip: Do you want to toast nuts that have come with their skin on? There’s no need to peel them first. Simply toast your nuts following the instructions above and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Then place them in a clean tea towel and rub vigorously – the skins will slide right off.
“What exactly is the difference between toasting and roasting?” we hear you wonder. Well for one, roasting usually takes place in the oven (rather than on the cooktop).
You can roast your nuts easily in the oven by spreading a single layer across a baking sheet. Place nuts in an oven on CircoTherm® at 175°C. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Tip: Want to add some extra flavour to your nuts for snacking or adding to salads? Tossing in a mixture of spices will make them so delicious you won’t be able to stop eating them. Try paprika, rosemary or a hint of chilli and mix it up depending on your preference and ingredients. And to really coat the crunchy roasted snacks with bold flavours, you can combine the spices with whipped egg whites before tossing – as an added bonus you’ll also get a nice crispy outer shell!
Thanks to the controversy around ‘activated almonds’ in recent years, soaked nuts have been thought of as a bit of a strange fad. But the reality is that this method of preparing raw nuts is actually closer to how the Aztecs prepared them back in the day. This process makes raw nuts easier to digest and breaks down the phytic acid, which actually helps humans to access more nutritional benefits.
Simply place your nuts in a bowl, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt and cover with warm or room temperature water. Leave to sit for 7 hours or overnight before draining (note: cashews shouldn’t be soaked for more than 6 hours). Set your oven to its lowest temperature and place your nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet to dehydrate over the next 12 hours. When you’re done they’ll be crunchy and ready to eat!