Hazelnuts – Whole, Chopped or Ground

Whether as a snack on-the-go or in cakes and other pastries, hazelnuts are delicious and nutritious. Aside from freshly cracked whole nuts you can find hazelnuts roasted or toasted, chopped or ground. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to the small, round nuts as they contain histamine. Those with a birch pollen allergy may experience some cross-sensitivity to hazelnuts. Heating hazelnuts in the oven for example can minimize the reaction you may experience.

Food Facts Food Facts

Hazelnuts

Class

corylus

Calories

645 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

6.9g carbohydrate, 9.7g fibre, 59.5g fat, 15.2g protein per 100g

Season

September to January

Storage

store in a cool, dry and dark place

Shelf life

several months up to a year (dried whole nuts in their shell)

Hazelnuts – Origin and Tips

Hazelnuts were originally widespread throughout Europe and Anatolia, but today they are also cultivated in the USA and Asia. The biggest exporters of hazelnuts are Turkey and Italy, but in Central Europe hazelnuts are no longer cultivated for trade. Harvest starts in September or October, depending on climate conditions, and the hazelnuts are then exported all over the world.

When buying hazelnuts shake them to determine whether or not they are fresh. If you hear a rattling sound inside the shell, the hazelnuts are old. The shell of fresh hazelnuts fits firmly. Hazelnuts dried in their shell keep for several months, but must be protected from heat or moisture. Ground, chopped or peeled hazelnuts spoil more quickly.

Hazelnuts – A Sweet and Salty Treat

Hazelnuts are not only to be enjoyed whole as a snack, but can also be found in many other sweets, like chocolate, nougat or praline. Ground or chopped, they can be used as an ingredient in cake or other pastries. However, hazelnuts are more than just a sweet treat. For additional protein, minerals and vitamins, try sprinkling a handful of hazelnuts over salad or using hazelnut oil in the dressing. Hazelnut puree is a great addition to spicy sauces and hazelnut liqueur can round off a meal quite nicely.

To start your day with hazelnut spread, try making it yourself by combining hazelnuts with soy milk, vanilla flavouring, margarine, corn starch and agave syrup. Adding a little vanilla sugar, cocoa powder or carob powder further refines the hazelnut cream.

Roasting hazelnuts intensifies their natural flavour – simply roast them in the oven for 10 minutes. Then peel the hazelnuts and remove the thin brown skin by rubbing them with a towel.

Hazelnuts – Vitamin E and Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Like macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecan nuts, hazelnuts are considered a healthy snack option. Although hazelnuts are high calorie and contain lots of fat, they are also rich in vitamins and minerals. The vitamin E content of hazelnuts is higher than most other nuts. They also supply calcium, phosphorous and iron and their high lecithin content increases your ability to concentrate. Hazelnuts also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids and fibre.

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