Toasting Nuts and Seeds

unshelled nutsNuts and seeds used in baking recipes have a better taste when toasted and will enhance the flavor of your baked foods. Most edible nuts can be toasted, including walnut, pecan, hazelnut (filbert), peanut, pine, cashew, macadamia, and almond. Seeds that toast well include sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, and sesame. Since nuts and seeds have their own natural oils, it is not necessary to add extra oil or butter when toasting.

 For almonds see  Blanching Almonds

 

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, have an outer brown skin covering the nut which should normally be removed before using in your baking recipe. Toasting will cause the outer skin to crack, making it easier to remove.

Pistachio Nuts also have an outer greenish brown skin covering which should be removed before using in your recipe. After toasting the nuts the skin can be rubbed off.pistachios

For both Hazelnuts and Pistachio Nuts, while the shelled nuts are still warm, rub them between your fingers to remove the skin. Or, rub the nuts with a rough cloth to remove the skin. Place the warm nuts on a rough textured kitchen towel placed on the counter, and then fold the towel over the nuts and rub back and forth. This will remove the majority of the skins. Or, place them in a mesh bag (like a recycled orange or lemon bag) and rub the nuts between your hands over the kitchen sink. The skins will fall through the mesh into the sink and only the skinned nuts will remain in the bag.

hazelnutsSometimes hazelnuts and pistachios can be stubborn, not wanting to give up their skins very easily. I usually don’t worry about it. As long as most of the skins are removed I tend to just let the stubborn ones keep their skins. Quite often with hazelnuts and pistachios they will be chopped or ground before using in the recipe, and as long as most of the skins are removed your recipe should come out just fine.

 

 

 

Toasting Nuts and Seeds

 

Oven Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an ungreased baking pan, preferably one with sides so the nuts or seeds don’t roll off the pan.
  2. Use shelled nuts. Try to have nuts a uniform size so they will toast evenly.
  3. Spread nuts or seeds in a single layer in the baking pan.
  4. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or just until they are very lightly browned and fragrant. Shake the pan once or twice during baking to stir and turn the nuts or seeds. Watch closely so they do nut burn.
  5. Immediately remove from the oven and remove from the hot baking pan so they do not continue to cook. Spread on paper towels to cool.

 

Skillet Directions:

  1. Use shelled nuts. Try to have nuts a uniform size so they will toast evenly.
  2. Spread nuts or seeds in a single layer in an ungreased skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Cook 4 to 8 minutes or just until they are very lightly browned and fragrant, shaking the pan, or stirring frequently to keep the nuts or seeds from burning. Watch closely so they do nut burn.
  4. Immediately remove from the heat and remove from the hot skillet so they do not continue to cook. Spread on paper towels to cool.

 

Microwave Directions:

  1. Use shelled nuts, chop them to the desired size. Try to have nuts a uniform size so they will toast evenly.
  2. Spread chopped nuts or seeds in a single layer on a paper plate.
  3. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Rotate the pan a half turn, then continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes or until they smell toasted. They will not brown.
  4. Remove from the microwave oven and spread on paper towels to cool.