Find creative culinary inspiration for three nutrition-packed nut varieties, plus tips for buying and storing them.
If you’re looking for a smart snack, reach for tree nuts. People who regularly eat them tend to take in higher levels of important nutrients than those who don’t, and they have better-quality diets in general, according to a study in the journal Nutrients. Here, some creative culinary inspiration for three nutrition-packed varieties, plus tips for buying and storing them.
3 Tree Nuts to Try
Native to Brazil, the cashew is known for its delicate flavor and creamy consistency. It’s also loved for being an excellent source of zinc and magnesium, both important minerals for a healthy immune system.
GOOD FOR making vegan nut milk, butter, and cheese
TRY IT To make cashew milk, blend 4 cups water, 1 cup cashews, 3 pitted and torn Medjool dates, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a blender on high until smooth.
A North American sweet tree nut, the pecan is rich in B vitamins like B1 (thiamin) and B6 (pyridoxine), which help your body convert food into energy. It also contains anti- oxidants and monounsaturated fats, which studies suggest may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
GOOD FOR adding sweet accents to snacks and savory dishes, including stuffing, fish, and chicken salad
TRY IT or curry-spiced pecans, mix 1 cup pecans with 1/2 tbsp honey, 1/4 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp finely chopped dried rosemary, 1/8 tsp salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 325° until lightly toasted and fragrant, 15–20 minutes.
This Middle Eastern nut is known both for its distinctive taste and nutrient density. Its unique color indicates the presence of the eye-protecting antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, plus one serving (1 oz, or 49 pistachio kernels) contains as much muscle- and nerve-supporting potassium as an orange.
GOOD FOR Adding flavor, color, and texture to grain dishes, confections, and baked goods
TRY IT For chocolate-pistachio bark, spread 2 cups melted dark-chocolate chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pistachios and 1/2 cup dried apricots; refrigerate until chocolate hardens, 1 hour. Peel away parchment and break bark into bite-sized pieces.
Tree Nut Facts + Tips
Follow these tips to maximize taste, freshness, and nutrition.
Select whole, raw nuts. Chopped, sliced, and ground nuts can oxidize and become rancid faster because more of the nut is exposed to the air.
To prevent rancidity, store nuts in a moisture-free, tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one year.
Improve the taste of raw nuts by flavoring them at home with herbs, spices, and whole-food sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
See also Nuts About Bananas