Pine Nuts – Good Things worth Waiting For

Whether in pesto, roasted and strewn on a salad, or as an ingredient in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes, pine nuts are a real asset to any kitchen and have many uses. By the time the small seeds have made their way to the plate, they have already completed a very long journey. They grow on wild pine trees that can measure up to 30 metres high. These trees can be found on the coast of the Mediterranean, South America and Asia Minor. For some pine trees, it takes three years until they are ready for harvest and they are usually harvested by hand. Only then have they developed their rich flavour and buttery texture. The price of pine nuts reflects their complicated and time-consuming harvest.

Food Facts Food Facts

Pine Nuts

Class

pinus

Calories

595 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

13.9g carbohydrate, 44.9g fat, 31.6g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool and dry; seal opened packets

Shelf life

peeled pine nuts go rancid quickly but can be refrigerated for up to 2 months

Pine Nuts – Release the Flavour by Roasting

Roasting the pine nuts releases the distinctive, nutty flavour of the seed, while the slight turpentine-like taste evaporates. Pan roast the pine nuts on a low flame and make sure to keep a close eye on them as they can turn from a light brown to a burnt black in just a matter of seconds and therefore lose their delicious flavour. Another option is to quickly oven roast the pine nuts at 165°C.

Pine Nuts – Italian and Middle Eastern Cuisine

Thanks to their rich, buttery flavour, the pine nuts are a versatile addition to the kitchen. They are particularly well suited to Middle Eastern and Italian dishes. What they are most famous for is the classic and delicious pesto recipe, for which they can simply be crushed with a pestle and mortar or blended in a mixer. The tasty seeds also make an appearance in many pasta sauces and are often strewn on top of salads. When it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine, pine nuts are a great pairing with the likes of a date sauce, lamb meat and a variety of couscous dishes.

Pine Nuts – Enjoy in Moderation

The peeled seeds are not just a delicious garnish, but also a healthy addition to any meal. They are rich in vitamins B1, B2 and vitamin E, and also contain a large amount of minerals such as phosphorous, iron and magnesium. In addition to this, pine nuts contain large proportions of the trace element zinc, which does not stay in the body for a long period of time and therefore has to be incorporated into our nutrition. However, pine nuts are very high in calories and should therefore be consumed in moderation.

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