> What's in Season? > Nuts
Jennifer A. Wickes
A nut is a dry fruit with an edible kernel in a shell. Some "nuts"
are really legumes (Brazil nuts) or seeds (peanuts).
Nuts come from a variety of locations. Here are a list of the areas that
produce the most:
- Almonds: Asia, Italy, Greece, California, Spain.
- Cashews: South America, India.
- Chestnuts: Northern Italy, France.
- Pine Nuts: Mediterranean.
- Pecans: North America.
- Walnuts: Greece, Italy, India, California.
Almonds, cashews, chestnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts
Traditionally, nuts were an autumn food, but now they are available all
How to Select
When you are choosing nuts in their shells, pick nuts that are heavy for
their size, and that the shell has no cracks or holes in. When you shake
the nut, there should be no rattling noise.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Nuts have a high fat
content and the fat can go rancid. They can also be stored in the refrigerator
or freezer too. Store in the refrigerator for 4 months if shelled, 8 months
if they still have their shells. Store in the freezer for 6 months if
they have been shelled, and up to a year if it still has their shells.
Calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin E and fiber.
One ounce of nuts daily can reduce the risk of heart disease by 10%. The
healthiest of nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, such as almonds,
hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.
1 lb. with shells = 1 1/2 cups
1 lb. shelled = 3 1/4 cups
1 lb. = 3 cups
1 lb. peeled = 2 1/2 cups
1 lb. shelled = 3 1/2 cups whole Pine Nuts:
8 oz. = 1 1/2 cups
1 lb. shelled = 4 cups of halves
1 lb. shelled = 3 1/2 cups of halves
Additional Information (Web Sites)
Chicken Cashew Salad
by Jennifer A. Wickes
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 croissants, halved
Combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl. Place some sprouts on 4 of
the croissant halves. Spread 1/2 cup chicken salad over sprouts; top
with remaining croissant halves.
Yields: 4 servings
Pistachio Ice Cream
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolk -- beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup pistachios -- blanched, chopped
1 tablespoon orange peel -- finely grated
1. Heat half and half in saucepan; stir in sugar and salt.
2. Pour a small amount of hot half and half into egg yolks, stirring
3. Return yolk mixture to half and half; cook and stir over medium
heat about 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened and creamy. Do not
4. Stir in vanilla and heavy cream. Chill.
5. Pour into freezer container; follow manufacturer's directions for
6. Add pistachios and orange peel when almost frozen; freeze until
7. Allow ice cream to stand at least 2 hours in refrigerator-freezer
to mellow flavors.
Yields: 10 servings
BLANCHING PROCESS: To blanch the nutmeats, pour boiling water over
shelled pistachios. Let stand for five to ten minutes, drain and
cool. The skins can then be removed easily between fingers and thumb,
or by rolling between two coarse towels. Place in warm oven at 250
degrees F, for about one hour.
Dad's Southern Pecan Pie
Recipe By: Trent Snyder
1 cup flour
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
1 cup dark corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter -- melted
1 cup pecan halves
CRUST: Cut shortening into dry ingredients. Add water gradually until
just moistened. Roll and place into 9-inch pastry dish.
PIE: Beat eggs thoroughly with sugar, salt, corn syrup, and melted
butter. Add pecan halves. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pastry shell.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until knife inserted halfway
between center and the edge comes out clean. Cool.
NOTES : Chef's Comments: This pie recipe won the Mt. Gilead, Ohio
Kiwanis club pie bake-off in 1988!
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
1 cup powdered sugar -- sifted
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar -- sifted
1 tablespoon egg white -- slightly beaten
Process almonds in a food processor or blender, until finely ground.
Combine almonds, 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar, water, and almond extract
in a mixer bowl. Beat on low speed, until mixture forms a ball. Beat
in 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar. Add egg whites, stir to a consistency
of clay. Divide and mix in food coloring as desired. Dust mint molds
with powdered sugar. Pack tightly into molds. Cover and store at room
temperature. Serve at room temperature.
Yields: 16 servings
Recipe By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered
3/4 cup unsalted butter -- melted
2 cups walnuts -- finely ground
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
10 sheets frozen filo dough -- thawed
1/2 cup honey -- warmed
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice -- strained
Lightly brush a 9x13x2-inch pan with a small amount of the melted
Combine walnuts and 2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl, set
Cut filo sheets in half crosswise. Cover with a damp towel. Place 1
sheet onto the bottom of the buttered pan. Brush with butter. Repeat
for a total of seven layers. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons warmed honey. Brush 1 filo sheet with
melted butter. Place onto nut mixture. Repeat with another filo
sheet. Repeat adding nut mixture, warm honey, and two filo sheets
until no nut mixture remains. Brush 1 filo sheet with melted butter.
Place on top of nut mixture. Repeat for a total of seven sheets.
Gently cut into 1-1/2x2-inch portions.
Bake at 350 degrees F, in center of oven, for 30-35 minutes, until
Combine remaining lemon juice, honey and cinnamon in a small
saucepan, over a medium flame. Heat to a light boil. Heat and stir
for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over baklava in pan. Allow to
cool completely before serving.
Serve at room temperature.
Yields: 12 servings
This article was originally published at Suite
Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cookbook Reviews"
and "Cooking With The Seasons", which has been v oted to be
one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information
about Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to: