How To Roast Nuts
Roasted nuts are delicious and are a tasty way to add whole food fats to a meal. I like to roast batches of different nuts: here I describe how to roast nuts at home.
A little bit about the fats in nuts
Nuts are high fat foods and because of this it is important to store and cook nuts correctly. Fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, are susceptible to degradation. This is particularly true when the food has been processed in some way. For example, shelled hemp seeds are more likely to go off than hemp seeds in their shells; ground seeds are less stable than whole seeds. Likewise when you cook nuts and seeds their shelf life probably decreases somewhat. For this reason I try to buy nuts and seeds in small batches, and I roast enough to last a few weeks rather than months. With the exception of shelled hemp and milled linseed and chia, I store both raw and roasted nuts in airtight jars in the fridge. The reason I treat shelled hemp and milled linseed / chia differently is that they contain a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids AND they are processed. This means that the fats in these seeds are not that stable. I try to preserve their healthy fats by storing them in the freezer.
Why roast nuts?
Although the nutrient profile of roasted nuts is probably slightly less impressive than that of raw nuts, and although raw nuts probably last slightly longer, roasted nuts are delicious! The only nut variety that I regularly eat raw is the walnut. Walnuts, like hemp and chia, are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, but that’s not the reason I eat them raw. I just prefer the taste!
Roasted nuts are great scattered onto pretty much any meal, especially if that meal is oil free. They are also great when made into nut butter. For instructions on how to make nut butter at home see here.
How to roast nuts
But back to roasted nuts. I believe that by keeping the oven temperature fairly low, and by roasting for the shortest amount of time possible, the nutrients in nuts are probably preserved. Here’s how I do it…
Free from: gluten, soya, wheat, yeast
Nut free: seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good roasted
This is a vegan recipe
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- nuts / seeds
Preheat your oven to 150C.
I roast my nuts in separate oven trays because different varieties have different cooking times. The length of time your nuts will take to roast will vary, but approximate guidelines are as follows:
Pecans: 15 min
Hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds: 20 min
Peanuts: 30 min
Check on them regularly and move them around if they are not cooking evenly, or if the tray is quite full. They are ready when they start to change colour slightly and begin to smell fragrant.
Once the nuts are roasted, allow them to cool completely. If there is a lot of flaky skin coming off the nuts (hazelnuts, for example, shed a lot of skin), rub them between your fingers then remove the nuts from the flakes. Store your cold roasted nuts in airtight containers in the fridge.