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Saturday 26 March 2016

Hazelnuts ... are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals

Pronounce it: hay-zl-nut

Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most commonly sold shelled. The sweet-tasting, cream-coloured kernel is small and round, with a pointed tip. Its thin, dark brown skin is faintly bitter, so some people like to remove this before eating.

Also known as cobnuts or filberts, hazelnuts are good eaten raw but the flavour takes on a more mellow, sweeter character when they are roasted. Like almost all nuts, they have a high fat content, which means they'll go rancid pretty quickly if not refrigerated.

Choose the best:
Hazelnuts in their shells look good, but they will go rancid more quickly. Ready-shelled nuts in airtight packaging last longer.

Prepare it:
Hazelnuts in their shells can be opened using a nut cracker. To remove the dark skin, place the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake on a medium heat for 10-12 minutes. They are ready when the skins begin to split and the kernels turn golden. Tip them into a clean tea-towel and rub - the skins should come off quite easily.

Store it:
Unopened packets of hazelnuts should be stored in a cool, dry place - they'll last for up to 3 months. Once opened, they should be kept in an airtight container.

Cook it:
Raw as a snack, or added to muesli. Chopped and used in cakes or crumble toppings. Ground finely to make flour for baking.

Try almond, macadamia nut or pecan.

Above details from here

Health benefits of Hazelnuts:

Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with numerous health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. 100 g nuts carry 628 calories. 

They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and rise HDL or good cholesterol. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet plentiful in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease, and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

The nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals. Altogether, they help protect from diseases and cancers.

Hazels are exceptionally rich in folate, which is a unique feature for the nuts. 100 g fresh nuts carry 113 µg; that is, about 28% recommended daily intake of this vitamin. Folate is an important B-complex vitamin that helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, and most importantly, neural tube defects in the newborn. Good news for the expectant mothers!

Hazel nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 15 g per 100 g (providing 100% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucusa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

The nuts, like in almonds, are free from gluten, and therefore, safe alternative food sources that can be employed in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas for gluten-sensitive, wheat allergic, and celiac disease patients.

Besides being rich in folates, they are packed with many other important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6).

They are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper and manganese are essential co-factors for anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent microcytic-anemia. Magnesium and phosphorus are important components of bone metabolism.

Hazelnut oil has a nutty aroma and has excellent astringent properties. It helps keep skin well protected from dryness. The oil has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

The above health benefit details taken from here

Now here's a recipe suggestion for you. Take a plate of ordinary green beans ... 

and turn it into a plate of Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Lemon.
You'll find the hazelnuts and lemon zest add a delightful touch to green beans.

Serves: 8
675g (1 1/2 lb) fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
30g (1 oz) chopped toasted hazelnuts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Time Guide Prep:10min › Cook:10min › Ready in:20min 

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook beans 3 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Add olive oil, lemon zest, hazelnuts, salt and pepper.
Beans may be made 1 day ahead, chilled and covered. Reheat beans to serve.
Recipe suggestion from here

Why not go nuts ... Hazelnuts!

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


eileeninmd said...

Hello, Thanks for the recipe, I enjoy both green beans and the hazelnuts. Happy weekend! Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Eileen
Sometimes it's nice to add a zing to our vegetables and the lemon zest and hazelnuts do just that. Of course you can also add a few hazelnuts to salads too ...

Thank you for your good wishes - Happy Easter to you and your family too.

All the best Jan

Jo said...

Hazelnuts always remind me of Christmas, I have many happy memories of my dad and I sat cracking these tasty nuts over the festive period.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Jo
Looking back I too have happy memories of Christmas and a very full bowl of nuts complete with nutcracker!
I think as the years have gone on / progressed nuts have become an every day food ... well certainly for us. We love almonds, macadamia, walnuts, pecans ... and others, BUT, we only ever eat a small handful! We keep them in a 'tupperware' type container, and they do last for cooking as well as snacks.

All the best Jan

Martha said...

What a nice recipe for green beans. I must try this. I love hazelnuts. In fact, I love most nuts. They remind me of my dad who would always munch on them and offer me some, too! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Easter weekend.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Martha
A handful of nuts are great for munching on ...
It's lovely to take an ordinary plate of tasty green beans, and turn them into something even tastier!

Have a lovely Easter

All the best Jan

chris c said...

One of my aunts had a small farm and grew mainly various fruits and chickens and/or turkeys. We always went down to help her harvest the Kentish Cob Nuts - a kind of large hazelnut. Sixty years later and I always buy some in her memory when they are fresh and juicy.

Lowcarb team member said...

...and I bet those 'Kentish Cob Nuts' were delicious! Nice that you still buy them with memories of her.
Reading yours, and other comments here, it would seem that through our years ... certain foods bring special memories. I wonder if that will be the same, when for instance my grand-children reach their fifties / sixties ...and beyond!

Hope you are enjoying the Easter weekend.

All the best Jan

chris c said...

Maybe they'll reminisce about their gran's cooking?

Lowcarb team member said...

Chris said "Maybe they'll reminisce about their gran's cooking?"
I'd like to think they might ...
Many thanks

All the best Jan