Nuts are a great nutritious addition to candies, baked items, and even salads. If you're scrunching up your nose at the sound of salads — you've got another thing coming.
Healthy nuts can actually add enough bite and texture to your meals and make them super delicious. But, the real struggle appears in preparing these nuts. And not everyone is a pro at this. Guess what? By the end of this article — you will be a pro.
Knowing how to prepare your most favorite nuts is essential for all types of cooking. So, here we are to guide you in steps about how to roast, skin, and chop nuts. Let's dive in.
How to Roast Nuts:
Roasting your nuts couldn't get any easier, especially now that there are so many pieces of equipment to compliment it, and you don't have to struggle with manual work.
You need to start with preheating your oven. Spread the nuts out on a baking tray and place the tray on the middle rack in the oven. You can easily use your baking trays for this and shake out the tray so that the nuts spread out evenly.
You can either dry roast them or use oil, such as grape seed oil, for a richer finish. Drizzle small amounts of oil on the nuts and coat them evenly.
After dashing it in the oven, set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take the nuts out and stir them around. After the redistribution, stash it back in the oven.
Get back to them after another 3 minutes. How do you know it's done? The color should be a few shades darker, and you may even hear some crackling whilst they're in the oven.
But, if they don't smell nutty enough and are still intact with the raw smell, hop it back in the oven for another 3 minutes after a good stir.
No matter what kind of nuts you're working with, it must never take longer than approximately 12-15 minutes. When they're done, remove them from the oven and place them on a rack or another tray to cool down.
How to Skin Nuts:
In order to skin nuts properly, we have divided the procedure into three parts, hazelnuts, almonds and the rest. This is because you can't skin all nuts in one specific way. Thus, keep reading to know how you can enjoy perfectly peeled nuts.
Hazelnuts — Hazelnut skins are extremely bitter, so you better get rid of them. After you roast your hazelnuts, wait for them to cool down. Now, take a clean kitchen towel and rub your hazelnuts in between them. Due to the friction that this creates, the skin will start to peel off, leaving behind delicious, bare hazelnuts.
Fun fact: you can use this exact tip to skin peanuts too.
Almonds — you can find blanched, peeled, sliced, and whole almonds easily in the grocery store. However, they turn out to be pricier than entire almonds. So, why struggle with the extra splurge when you can skin them nicely at home? Let's tell you how.
To skin almonds, boil water, drop them in and let them cook for about a minute. Drain the nuts and set them aside to cool. Once the temperature is cool enough to work with, simply pinch the nuts between your fingers, and almonds should slip out easily. You shall roast almonds once you're done peeling them.
Other nuts — in this section, we're talking about all other nuts in general, such as pistachios, pecans, macadamias, and so on. Now, with other nuts, you can simply follow the rules that you would to skin hazelnuts.
The chain is simple. Boil them for about a minute. Set them aside for them to cool down, and then use any clean kitchen cloth to massage the nuts. The skin should come off quickly due to friction.
How to Chop Nuts:
Depending on how finely you want to chop your nuts, you can use your hands, nut choppers, or food processors.
If you're looking for a fine finish, you must use a food processor. Simply put small amounts of nuts in the food processor and quickly pulse them a couple of times until you're left with your desired results.
If you're looking for coarsely chopped nuts, you can always use a nut chopper or a knife. Gather up the nuts in and with quick, firm strokes, rock the knife back and forth all around the circle.
The great deal with nut choppers is that it can handle any kind of nuts - pecan, walnuts, or even hazelnuts. However, it would be silly to take coconuts into consideration.
Simply place your nuts into the upper chamber of the nut chopper and turn the handle. You will have to turn the handle clockwise for a coarse cut and counter-clockwise for a finer finish.
If you're targeting an even finer chop, just flip the nut chopper upside down and turn the handle to grind the chopped nuts back into the upper chamber.
Repeat as necessary. Nut choppers are extremely easy to clean. Just hop them in the dishwasher, and you're done! Whew!
Now you know all the secrets. Trot on to your kitchen and make those pecan candies or salted caramel nuts that you've been craving. It's finally time to drop wasting your money on store-bought, ready-made nuts and finally, put your pro skills to practice!