Nuts about Nuts
- Apr 13, 2015
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As you undoubtedly know, nuts are a tasty addition to baked goods. They add texture, crunch and flavor—and they pack a healthy, disease-fighting punch. Jazz up your breads, muffins and cakes with the following nutrient-rich nuts.
• April is National Pecan Month, according to the Pecan Shellers Association. Not only that, April 14 is National Pecan Day, so it’s fitting that we lead with pecans, which are the only tree nut native to North America. (Another claim to fame: pecans are said to have more antioxidants than any other nut variety.) Pecans are a southern delicacy, but think beyond Georgia pecan pie and enhance your tarts, tassies and cupcakes with the buttery-maple taste of pecans.
• Almonds may have a milder flavor than pecans, but they’re no shrinking violet. They lend a stately, refined touch to any and all baked goods, and luckily they come sliced, slivered and every which way in between. They’re called the cancer-fighting nut, so their nutritional properties are particularly impressive.
• Walnuts boast a flavor that can be either strong or mild, depending on whether you opt for English walnuts or the more exotic black walnuts. One of the world’s oldest nuts, walnuts are wonderful in quick breads and muffins.
• The heavenly hazelnut has a distinctively sweet flavor, so Nutella is definitely on to something. It’s best to remove the skin before baking with hazelnuts, though you can buy them pre-skinned. Toasting hazelnuts will remove the skins and enhance their rich taste.
• Cashews are underrated, not often making an appearance on the dessert tray. But they are incredibly versatile little nuts that adds a depth of flavor to tarts, cakes and cookie cups. Pair them with brown sugar or caramel for melt-in-your-mouth goodness.