Nuts, Healthful Goodness in a Onerous Shell

For the reason that earliest of time and even earlier than agriculture was utilized by the Greeks to supply higher meals sources, nuts have been a staple meals and dietary supply within the weight loss program of man. Throughout these occasions nuts have been plentiful, as there have been nice forest areas than in the present day, they usually have been nicely favored for his or her simple storage, which enabled folks to maintain them for occasions by which meals was laborious to search out; the winter, the moist season, and so on. There’s proof that way back to the second century B.C., the Romans distributed sugar almonds on particular events equivalent to marriages and births.

Nuts

Macadamia nuts are used for confectioneries or as snacks, and have additionally gained reputation within the kitchen as they’ve a really gentle and refined style and add texture to salads, and sizzling dishes.

Nuts have their place in all cultures and thru nearly all delicacies round
the world. Nuts are widespread with folks of all ages for his or her refined style and
excessive fats and carbohydrate content material. It’s this refined style that Cooks particularly like when creating new dishes and variations.

Description and species

Underneath the class nuts, we perceive something from a seed to a legume or tuber. The peanut for instance, is a legume, the Brazil nut and macadamia nut are seeds and almonds are the seed of a fruit much like a peach.

Botanically nuts are single seeded fruits with a tough or leathery shell which comprise an edible kernel, enclosed in a delicate interior pores and skin. Typically, all nut timber develop slowly however dwell lengthy. Bushes of walnut, chestnut or pecan proceed to supply nuts typically greater than hundred years after planting.

Nut timber of any species are discovered all around the world. Almonds for instance are present in California, Spain, Morocco, Italy and even Australia, whereas the walnut may be discovered anyplace from North America to the Andes and Persia to Australia. Asia additionally has a terrific number of nuts. Ginkgo nuts in China, candle nuts in Indonesia and Malaysia, coconut in all through southern Asia, cashew nuts in India and Malaysia and the Philippines, chestnuts in China and Japan, and the water chestnut which is present in China, Japan, Korea and the East Indies.

A number of the higher identified nuts:

Almond

Scientists take into account the almond as a stone fruit, very similar to cherries, peaches and prunes. As a result of most individuals solely know the seed (stone) of this fruit, it’s typically accepted as a nut. Almonds on the tree seem like small inexperienced peaches. When ripe the shell will open and reveal the nut in its shell.

There are numerous kinds of almonds. The bitter almond is in truth the kernel of the apricot, which was discovered rising wild in China way back to the late Tang Dynasty (AD 619-907). This identical apricot was taken to Europe and have become the apricot fruit, which is now loved all around the world. The bitter almond kernel is poisonous in its uncooked state and should be boiled rapidly and poached in a oven earlier than being additional used. It’s primarily utilized in Chinese language desserts just like the almond bean curd.

The candy almond is mostly confined for contemporary consumption. In 1986, California alone produced 70,000 tons of almonds, which is half of the world’s manufacturing. The almond has been cultivated across the Mediterranean since historic occasions and might nonetheless be discovered wild in Algeria and across the black sea. Candy almonds may be purchased entire, shelled, lower in 1/2 with pores and skin, with out pores and skin, flaked, blanched, slivered floor roasted or salted. They’re used for snacks, marzipan, confectionery, and desserts as nicely asfor the  manufacturing of liqueur essence, oil and beauty merchandise.

Bunya bunya pine nut

The bunya bunya tree is a member of the pine household and grows nearly in every single place in Australia. Initially the timber originated within the space of Brisbane and Rockhampton in Queensland, within the north east of Australia. Solely the feminine timber are nut producing, they usually yield a 2cm x 2.5cm nut within the pinecone.

Within the outdated days, the bunya bunya pine nuts have been staple meals for the aborigines and in addition utilized in ceremonials. Today, the nuts have gained reputation by the development of native meals in Australia; bush meals. The nut is wealthy is carbohydrate, much like the chestnut, and due to this fact used extra like a potato than a nut.  Bunya bunya nuts may be eaten uncooked however are normally boiled for simple removing of the pores and skin. Shelled nuts are then butter fried and flavored with pepper or sugar, or added to stews and soups.

Crimson bopple nut

The crimson bopple nuts are a relative of the macadamia nut, and native to the tropical rain forest of the East Coast of Australia. The nut is about the identical dimension as a hazelnut and has a thick (0.5cm 0 1cm), woody husk with a shiny crimson outer pores and skin, which solely seems if the nut is totally ripe.

In opposite to most different nuts, the crimson bopple nut could be very low on fats, however very excessive in calcium and potassium. the low fats content material make this nut very simply digestible. The nuts are eaten uncooked or toasted.

Coconut

“He who crops a coconut tree”, the saying goes, “crops foods and drinks, vessels and clothes, a habitation for himself and a heritage for his kids”. Certainly each a part of the coconut is used, however solely the coconut milk and the coconut meat are meals. The shell is used as charcoal, the husk is used to make ropes, clothes and brushes, and the trunk of the tree and leaves are used for roofs of homes and constructing materials respectively.

The fruit of the palm “cocos nucifera” has an edible kernel and due to this fact qualifies as a nut. The palm tree is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil and Indonesia, and might produce 50 – 100 nuts a 12 months, over a life span of 70 years. Coconut palms develop finest near the seaside however have been confirmed to face up to excessive altitude, though the manufacturing price is diminished the additional away from the ocean the tree grows. The massive thick inexperienced pod encloses a brown fibrous husk round a brown shell which comprises a layer of soppy white flesh and the clear water within the heart. Sub-species discovered solely on one island of the Seychelles, within the Indian Ocean, produces a nut typically weighing greater than 20 kg, which wants 10 years to ripen.

Coconuts are the worlds most commercially used nuts. Particularly the meat, or copra, as it’s known as after being dried by the solar, is important for the export industries, in coconut rising international locations. The coconut is a vital meals supply particularly in South East Asia, India, Brazil and the South Pacific Islands.

The copra may be introduced shredded or desiccated and is utilized in confectioneries, ice lotions and to coat hen or fish for frying. Nevertheless a lot of it’s pressed for its oil additionally known as coconut butter as it’s white and fatty at room temperature. Not solely is it used for cooking and to make margarine, nevertheless it additionally goes into soaps, detergents, shampoos, face cream, perfumes and candles. It is usually a serious ingredient in glycerin, artificial rubber, security glass and hydraulic brake fluid. Coconut juice or milk is the pure juice of the nut, however not the water contained in the coconut. It’s received by shredding the uncooked coconut meat, then including water and straining the combination by a cotton fabric. Coconut milk has then the consistency and shade of skim milk and is out there canned or frozen.

Candle nut

The candle nut will get her title from a time when it was threaded tightly on the midrib of a palm leaf and used as a primitive candle. Extra lately, the nuts have been floor to a paste, blended with copra (grated coconut meat) after which shaped right into a candle.

Candle nuts are the seed of the candle berry tree native to Indonesia and Malaysia however extensively unfold all through south East Asia, the South Pacific and Sri Lanka. The nut has a really excessive content material on fats and is valued for the extracted oil for lighting in addition to cooking. The nut is coloured grey to black, about 5cm in diameter, with a skinny, papery husk containing one or two nuts.

Candlenut oil for lighting functions is extracted by roasting the nuts when they’re solely half ripe as oil for cooking is extracted by roasting the nuts when they’re totally ripe. For human consumption, the nuts must be roasted as uncooked they’ll trigger illness. Ripe candle nuts are roasted, then pounded right into a meal and blended with salt, chilies or shrimp paste for utilization in curries or as a spicy condiment to curries. Historically, the Javanese have roasted the nuts for consuming entire.

Palm nut

The palmyra palm native to most South East Asian Nations produces a tough, shiny nut, from which a sweetish sap or gel is extracted. Whereas this sap is utilized in Indonesian delicacies for soups and desserts, there’s one other nicely identified product yielded from the palmyra palm; Palm Sugar (gula melacca). There is no such thing as a dependable
information out there on the dietary worth of the palm nut, however it’s extensively identified that the fats is saturated.

Macadamia nut

Native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, the macadamia nut takes its title from Dr John McAdam, a scientist and early promoter of the cultivation of Australia.

Macadamia timber are evergreen and attain a peak of as much as 20 meters. The edible seed of the silk oat tree has a really laborious, mild brown shell, 2 -3cm in diameter. In 1888, macadamia timber have been planted in Hawaii the place by cautious cloning and hybridization, it turned an vital business product.At present, macadamia nuts are additionally cultivated in South Africa, Zimbabwe, California and components of South and Central America.

It is vitally tough to crack the macadamia nut as its shell could be very laborious and so tight to the kernel that when cracked the nut is smashed. In Hawaii, American scientists developed a approach of separating the kernel from the shell by shrinking them in drying bins. They then developed the primary business cracker. It was by these two developments that the macadamia nut may be reworked to the business significance it has in the present day. This can be the rationale why macadamia nuts are typically out there already de-shelled.

Macadamia nuts are also valued for his or her oil and the macadamia nut butter. They’re out there roasted and salted. When shopping for macadamia nuts, take care that they’re packed in a air tight or vacuum luggage, as they develop into simply rancid as soon as opened. Macadamia nuts are used for confectioneries or as snacks, and have additionally gained reputation within the kitchen as they’ve a really gentle and refined style and add texture to salads, and sizzling dishes. The oil makes glorious French dressing and chilly sauces.

Water chestnuts

The title refers to a nut like tuber of a aquatic plant known as Trapa. The crops are frequent to a number of components of the world, however are primarily utilized in Japan, China and Thailand the place it is usually a wanted ingredient in cuisines.

The trapa plant roots in ponds and lakes and sends its leaves to the floor, much like a water lily. The water chestnut grows on the roots beneath the water floor. Water chestnuts are flat and spherical with a diameter of 5 – 7cm. They’ve a delicate black pores and skin and white flesh much like the flesh of a coconut. As soon as peeled, they are often eaten uncooked, or dried and are a nicely favored ingredient due to their crunchy texture, and candy refined style. Water chestnuts are additionally boiled and made into flour, which is used for thickening of sauces and dishes, very similar to cornstarch.

Chestnut

Chestnuts are thought to have originated in Southern Europe and Persia even although they’re additionally present in China, Japan and Northern America.

The nuts of the chestnut tree have a brown shiny shade and leathery shell. They are often eaten uncooked, however principally are eat boiled, baked or roasted or as a chestnut puree sweetened or unsweetened. They’re additionally bought in syrup as marron glaces. Chestnuts are the one nuts, that are handled like a vegetable as a result of they comprise extra starch (30%) and fewer fats 3%. Chestnuts are additionally made right into a flour excessive on fiber and starch.

Cashew nut

Originating within the West Indies and native to the north of Brazil, Portuguese xplorers launched the nut to India and Malaysia in addition to components ofAfrica.

The hard-shelled nut grows contained in the cashew apple. When mature the cashew nut seems on the finish of the crimson or yellow apple. The cashew tree is a member of the poison ivy household and farmers should take nice precautions when extracting the nuts. The laborious shell comprises an oil, which irritates the pores and skin, so the nuts are heated to extract the kernel. The smoke and steam,which happens nonetheless should be dangerous to pores and skin and eyes. When heated the cashew nuts are innocent and could also be extracted.

Ginkgo nut

The ginkgo is the prehistoric maidenhair tree, which survives as a wild tree solely in China. The fruit appears like a tiny plum however has a foul and bitter shell. The Chinese language await the smelly hull to fall off, then paint the nuts and use them for festive decorations, earlier than they crack them open to eat the nut.

In Japan and Korea, ginkgo nuts are skewered after which grilled, which turns the nuts from yellow to inexperienced. In China, the ginkgo nut is a well-liked ingredient to vegetarian dishes. The nuts may be obtained contemporary or canned.

Hazelnut/filberts

The nut of the hazel bush is native to Europe and North America and was talked about in writings way back to 2838 B.C., and was credited of curing many human ills in addition to being thought of glorious to be used as a hair tonic. Some say that the title filbert comes from Saint Philibert, a French abbot whose feast day on 22 August coincides with the ripening of the primary nuts within the Northern hemisphere.

Hazelnuts have a really laborious shell, which must be cracked by a nutcracker earlier than attending to the kernel. Hazelnuts can be found, uncooked, blanched, or toasted, chopped, floor, for cooking in addition to in a liquor.

Peanut

The peanut isn’t a real nut. It’s the seed of a leguminous plant with a delicate, brownish coloured brittle shell and belong to the Botanical household of beans and peas. However they’re normally thought of together with the nuts as a result of of their bodily traits and dietary worth. The nuts develop on the lengthy roots of the plant and beneath the bottom.

The peanut is native to Brazil and has been discovered there ever for the reason that first
report of it in 950 B.C.. At present, peanuts are cultivated all through the tropics all around the world (India, China, West Africa, Australia and the USA are the most important peanut rising international locations). Peanuts produce glorious oil, which is used for salads and chilly dishes in addition to for frying. Peanuts additionally produce peanut butter, margarine, and in addition utilized in canning of sardines. Peanuts can be found entire, de-shelled and de-skinned and uncooked or toasted. Peanuts are utilized in all totally different varieties in all the pieces from salads to principal programs and desserts.

Pinenut

These are the edible seed of the pine tree and develop within the cone. Pine timber are discovered within the Southern USA, Mexico and across the Mediterranean sea. It could be very tough to determine pinenut manufacturing because the timber develop very slowly and don’t carry loads of fruit till they’re 75 years outdated.

Pine nuts are principally obtained uncooked after which toasted, fried or grilled. Pine nut oil is used for the beauty business. Pine nut flour is utilized in confectionery.

Pistachio nut

The pistachio nut is a small inexperienced kernel, which grows on the pistachio tree originating in Syria, Palestine and Persia. The pure shade of the shell is grayish white, however some occasions the nuts are dyed crimson to cowl up among the staining.

The pistachio nut is now cultivated in India, Europe, North Africa, Mexico, the USA and the Far East. Pistachios are normally bought of their shell or shelled and blanched. The greenish seed is used as flavoring in cooking, candies and ice cream.

Walnut

The walnut is expounded to the hickory and pecan tree and grows anyplace from North America to the Andes and Europe to China. English walnuts, butternuts and hickory nuts are all walnuts, botanically talking. All these walnuts have totally different shells and kernels however the English walnut with its tough, rippled shell and yellow brown kernel is the most well-liked and typically known as `The Walnut’.

Walnuts are purchased within the shell or de-shelled and are wanted for his or her
oil, which is used for cooking in addition to for salads and dressing.

Different generally used nuts embrace Brazil Nuts from South America, Beech Nuts from the USA and Pecan Nuts from North America.

Dietary worth and data

Nuts are wealthy in fats (40-60%) and dietary fiber (5-15%) with a average quantity of protein (2-25%) and small quantities of starch (as much as 10%). As talked about above chestnuts are an exception to this common rule.

The fat in nuts are principally monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and comprise no ldl cholesterol as nuts are harvested from crops. Solely the coconut and palm nut comprise saturated fat.

Important quantities of minerals may be present in nuts, together with zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. Nuts additionally comprise some provitamins and nutritional vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E & C. Nuts comprise little or no pure sodium and have a excessive quantity of potassium. Sadly nuts are sometimes bought salted as snacks, which upsets this pure steadiness, and by a over consummation of salted nuts folks absorb a lot of fats and salt.

Nuts are additionally a terrific supply of vitality and infrequently utilized in diets for athletes. Utilized in average quantities, nuts in unsalted varieties are nutritionally worthwhile meals.

Makes use of of nuts for the skilled chef

It’s laborious to know the place to begin to compile details about the makes use of of nuts and nut associated merchandise in in the present day’s hospitality business. In
kitchens, there isn’t a restrict on the variety of dishes and creations by which a Chef can use nuts or nut merchandise.

From appetizers to salads, soups and desserts, with cheese, fish, pasta, meats and greens, nuts are very versatile and don’t have a over-powering taste. Their refined style and crunchy texture make them simple to make use of as a complement for a lot of different elements.

Nut oils are additionally extensively used for dressings, frying and flavoring of sizzling and chilly dishes. Nut liqueurs could be a welcome complement to savory sauces as nicely as pastry sauces and lotions, marzipan and different nut pastes are sometimes used to produced sweets and confectionery gadgets. In Indian delicacies, a cashew nut paste is usually used for the thickening
of curries and sauces.

With the wide range of various nuts all over the world, nuts are utilized in nearly all identified cuisines and their dietary worth makes them an asset to so many diets since historic days.