Know Your Nuts: 5 Types That Add Crunch to Your Plate

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We’re all a little nuts about…nuts. They’re a perfect snack food and just filling enough to hold you over before a big meal. They’re also delicious chopped up and sprinkled in a salad or cake. Let’s also give a nod to all those yummy nut butters. Whether roasted, toasted, salted or plain, they’re good in just about anything.

Although nuts are high in fat, they’re also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients like selenium and vitamin E, and they have several health benefits.

Grab Your Nuts Day is August 3, and we encourage you to sprinkle some nuts into your diet today (and not just this month). In the meantime, here are five of our favorite types of nuts for culinary use.

Walnuts

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Most commonly used in baking, walnuts (also known as English walnuts) have a somewhat dry and bitter taste, but they also add a slightly creamy texture to different dishes. Try sprinkling some chopped walnuts in a salad for a crunchy addition.

Try walnuts in this recipe from Taste of Home: Strawberry-Blue Cheese Steak Salad

Pistachios

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Pistachios are popular for their use in Middle Eastern desserts like halvah and baklava. They’re also a key flavor in spumoni, a molded Italian gelato that also includes cherry and chocolate or vanilla, filled with layers of candied fruits and nuts.

Try this recipe using pistachios: Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

Almonds

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Almonds can be enjoyed in many forms: slivered, blanched, sliced and just whole. They’re sweet but not overpowering, making them a wonderful component in pastes, extracts and marzipan.

Try this recipe using almonds: Pasta with Roasted Romanesco and Capers

Peanuts

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Part of what makes peanuts so great (aside from their salty deliciousness) is that they’re affordable and available year round. Although we love peanut butter, raw peanuts add a rich earthiness. This is especially true when they’re roasted. You can always add a few peanuts to your homemade trail mix or in a batch of brownies.

Try this recipe featuring peanuts from Bon Appétit: Coconut-Marinated Short Rib Kebabs with Peanut-Chile Oil

Hazelnuts

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Nutella and Frangelico aren’t the only things we love about hazelnuts. They’re woodsy and earthy, perfect for pairing with chocolate and other sweets. For a truly decadent snack, lay whole hazelnuts out on a baking sheet (with bitter skin removed) and roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.

Try this recipe using hazelnuts from Taste of Home: Strawberry-Hazelnut French Toast

Pick up your favorite nuts (and foods made with nuts) at your local Doris Italian Market.

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