How to Cook with Nuts and Seeds

vegan cookies

Cooking with nuts and seeds can add texture, flavor, and nutrition to a variety of dishes. Here are some tips on how to cook with nuts and seeds:

Choose the Right Nuts and Seeds:

Select nuts and seeds based on your personal preference and the flavor profile you want to achieve. Popular choices include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds.

Toasting for Enhanced Flavor:

Toasting nuts and seeds can enhance their natural flavors. Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir frequently until they become fragrant and slightly golden. Be cautious not to burn them, as it can give a bitter taste. Alternatively, you can toast them in the oven at a low temperature.

Adding Crunch to Salads:

Add a delightful crunch to your salads by sprinkling toasted or raw nuts and seeds on top. They can provide both texture and a nutty flavor to your greens, vegetables, and fruit salads.

Nut and Seed Butters:

You can make your own nut and seed butters at home by blending roasted nuts or seeds in a food processor until smooth. These butters can be used as spreads on toast, added to smoothies, incorporated into sauces or dressings, or used as a base for homemade energy bars.

Baking with Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds can enhance baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, muffins, and bread. You can add them directly to the batter or dough, sprinkle them on top, or even make crusts with ground nuts and seeds.

Nut and Seed Crusts:

Grind nuts or seeds in a food processor and mix them with a little sweetener and melted butter or oil. Press this mixture into the base of a baking dish or cake pan to create a flavorful and nutritious crust for pies, cheesecakes, and tarts.

Nut and Seed Coatings:

Crushed nuts or seeds can be used as a coating for chicken, fish, or tofu, enhancing both flavor and texture. Dip the protein in beaten egg, milk, or a binding agent like mustard or mayonnaise, then roll it in the crushed nuts or seeds before cooking.

Granola and Trail Mix:

Make homemade granola or trail mix by combining your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Bake it in the oven until golden brown, and enjoy it as a nutritious snack or sprinkle it over yogurt and smoothie bowls.

Remember to store nuts and seeds properly in airtight containers in a cool, dry place to maintain their freshness and avoid rancidity. Experiment with different combinations to discover your favorite nut and seed pairings, and have fun incorporating them into your favorite dishes for added taste, texture, and nutrition.