Brazil Nuts – The Exotic South American Nut

Brazil nuts are the capsule seed of the Brazil nut tree, which grows exclusively in the wild in the South American rain forests. It can reach 50 metres in height and is found at the edge of the Andes in the West of the continent and in the depths of the Brazilian Amazon, which is how it gets its name. The Brazil nut is harvested in January and February. Traders have been bringing the nut to Europe since the 17th century.

Food Facts Food Facts

Brazil Nuts 

Class

Bertholletia

Calories

695 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

3.2g carbohydrate, 7g fibre, 66.5g fat, 16.6g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool and in an air-tight container at 10-18°C in the cellar or in the fridge

Shelf life

2 to 3 months

Brazil Nuts – Hard Shell, Crunchy Core

The capsule fruit looks similar to a coconut with its dark brown, hard shell, which protects 10 to 25 Brazil nuts. Each Brazil nut has a hard, brown shell of its own to protect the edible pit, which accounts for about half of the total weight. The nut itself is brown and white, roughly three centimetres long, and oval with a pointy end. Fresh Brazil nuts are firm and smooth, crunchy in texture and have a pleasantly sweet flavour.

Brazil Nuts – Storing the Sensitive Nut

Supermarkets predominantly sell peeled Brazil nuts, however they are extremely sensitive to moisture and heat. For this reason they must be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. Any nuts with a bitter taste should be thrown out. Opened packets of Brazil nuts are best stored in the fridge, ideally in a closed tin. Due to their sensitive nature, Brazil nuts are thoroughly inspected for any mould or fungi before being sold, which makes the probability of purchasing spoilt Brazil nuts very low.

Brazil Nuts – Healthy and High Energy

The nutrients in Brazil nuts make them a valuable and nutritious snack. One portion contains 180 calories and 16 grams of unsaturated fat, which is a vital part of a balanced diet as it has a positive effect on cholesterol. Brazil nuts are also a good source of protein, which supports muscle growth and maintains strong bones. Minerals are in no short supply: magnesium, potassium and in particular phosphorous, which is important for healthy teeth.

Brazil Nuts – A Crunchy Addition to Sweet and Savoury Dishes

Brazil nuts are often in trail mix and are also sold coated in chocolate. Should you have some unprocessed Brazil nuts you need to use up, you can grind them and include them in dough. Whether in a savoury bread dough or in sweet cake or biscuit dough, Brazil nuts lend an interesting crunch to your baked goods. Their mild flavour harmonises well with salty foods too, for example in a beetroot, rocket and mozzarella salad. Or add your Brazil nuts to your muesli. However you choose to use Brazil nuts, they are a healthy and tasty addition.

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