“No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.”
Nuts are an easy and tasty way to add a little oomph to recipes. A handful of walnuts can elevate an otherwise plain cookie from “ho-hum” to “YUM!”. Also, for those who can tolerate nuts, they are an invaluable ingredient when adapting a recipe to be dairy-free. Sometimes much of the flavour can be lost with the butter fat; adding a little nut flour or nut butter often compensates deliciously with it’s own richness.
Toasting nuts brings a whole new dimension to them, imparting a warm flavour and bringing out their natural sweetness… Never toasted nuts before? It’s easy…
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread your nuts out in a single layer onto an ungreased baking sheet. Baking times can range from 5 – 20 minutes (the almonds pictured, took 8). I find it’s best to stir them after the first 5 minutes and then every 2 or 3 minutes following until they are finished (watch them closely, as they can burn quickly). The nuts are done when you can smell them and they have turned a light golden colour. Allow to cool before using… An alternate method, which I use for small nuts (like pine nuts) and seeds, is to toast them in a pan on the stove top over a medium-high heat. Agitating them frequently, and never taking an eye off them (they can go from golden to burnt in seconds).
Things to know…
Shelled nuts have a short shelf life. Store them in the freezer in an air tight container to preserve them.
If you need chopped nuts, do so after toasting them. It’s easier to do when they’re warm.