Types of Nuts
Almond: While the almond is most often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is used in some dishes. It, along with other nuts, is often sprinkled over desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream based dishes. It is also used in making baklava and nougat. There is also almond butter, a spread similar to peanut butter, popular with peanut allergy sufferers and for its less salty taste.
Brazilnut: Despite their name, the most significant exporter of Brazil nuts is not Brazil but Bolivia, where they are called almendras. In Brazil these nuts are called castanhas-do-Pará, literally “chestnuts from Pará”, but Acreans call them castanhas-do-Acre instead. Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, although the amount of selenium varies greatly. They are also a good source of magnesium and thiamine.
Cashew: Originally spread from Brazil by the Portuguese, the cashew tree is now cultivated in all regions with a sufficiently warm and humid climate. Cashews have a very high oil content, and they are used in some other nut butters to add extra oil. Cashews contain 180 calories per ounce (6 calories per gram), 70% of which are from fat. Cashew is produced in around 32 countries of the world.
Chestnut: The nuts are an important food crop in southern Europe, southwestern and eastern Asia, and also in eastern North America before the chestnut blight.In southern Europe in the Middle Ages, whole forest-dwelling communities which had scarce access to wheat flour relied on chestnuts as their main source of carbohydrates.
Hazelnut: Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins.Additionally, for those persons who need to restrict carbohydrates, 1 cup (237 ml) of hazelnut flour has 20 g of carbohydrates, 12 g fibre, for less than 10 net carbohydrates.
Macademia: The nuts are a valuable food crop. Only two of the species, M. integrifolia and M. tetraphylla, are of commercial importance. The remainder of the genus possess poisonous and/or inedible nuts, such as M. whelanii and M. ternifolia; the toxicity is due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides.
Pecan: They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts but also in some savory dishes. One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie, a traditional southern U.S. recipe. Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline candy, most often associated with New Orleans.
Peanut: The peanut, or Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) is a species in the legume family Fabaceae native to Mexico and Central America. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing to 30 to 50 cm (1 to 1½ ft) tall. Peanuts are also known as earthnuts, goobers, goober peas, pindas, jack nuts, pinders, manila nuts and monkey balls. The last of these is often used to mean the entire pod, not just the seeds.
Pinenut: Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines. About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of value as a human food. In Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer.
Pistachio: The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and are also used in ice cream and confections such as baklava. “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”.
Walnut: The nuts of all the species are edible, but the walnuts commonly available in stores are from the Persian Walnut, the only species which has a large nut and thin shell. A horticultural form selected for thin nut shells and hardiness in temperate zones is sometimes known as the ‘Carpathian’ walnut. The nuts are rich in oil, and are widely eaten both fresh and in cookery.