Time to go nutty!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

What’s the best thing to snack on that’s healthy and loaded with taste? Nuts! From snacking to adding to curries, nuts are one of those good things in life that come in small packages. Read on to know more.

Vegan cream!
For vegans, cashewnuts are a health blessing. Soak cashewnuts in warm water and grind to a smooth paste. Use instead of cream in just about any recipe – sweet or savoury. Health benefits, taste and texture – all taken care of! Also, cashewnuts are hearth healthy – the mono and poly saturated fats in cashewnuts are good fats which help to keep cholesterol levels in check.

Expensive and rich nuts
Pecans and macadamia nuts are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but get a bad rep in the nut world because of their high calorie content. Pecan nuts have 690 calories and macadamia nuts have 718 calories per 100 grams. Another thing that common between these two nuts is their sweet buttery flavour and high price!

Milk from almonds
Whether you are vegan, lactose intolerant or just don’t like the taste of milk – almonds are the solution to all your woes. Grinding blanched peeled almonds with some water can give you a product which is like milk, but is vegan, lactose free, with minimal calories and plenty of nutrition. Add a hint of maple syrup and cinnamon to this and it’s a tasty beverage which gives you a healthier heart, stronger bones, glowing skin and flowing tresses!

The only nuts with Omega 3
It’s true, walnuts are the only nuts with omega 3 fatty acids, which is the good fat necessary for healthy heart function. Walnuts which resemble the human brain in structure, is said to promote brain health too. Coincidence..? I think not!  Choose walnuts devoid of any cracks or holes in their shells. Walnuts in their shells can last up to three months in a cool, dry place. Use them instead of pinenuts for a healthier pesto.

Power packed peanuts
Peanuts actually grow in a very fascinating manner. They start out as a flower which, due to its heavy weight, bends towards the ground and then grow there, probably why they are also called ground nuts. These all-time favourite munchies are pocket friendly, heart healthy and very versatile in the kitchen. India is one of the top producers of peanuts and it’s no wonder they are so widely used in kitchens across the country!  High in calories and energy, peanuts are energy food for bikers and hikers. Popularly abbreviated as GORP- Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

Sardine with almond?
Chocolate manufacturers use around 40 per cent of the world’s almonds and no one’s complaining because it’s a divine combination (think creamy choco-almond icecream or roasted almond chocolate bars!). However there are some unusual combos with almonds, teenagers in Japan love to snack on almonds with sardine. Try it out, you never know!

Beer can make peanuts dance too!
Toss one of the all-time favourite salted chakna in a glass of beer and watch the peanuts perform a jiggly dance! Froth from the beer and salt on the peanuts work together to make them float. Once all the salt has dissolved these dancing peanuts will cease their dance and automatically sink to the bottom.

Preserve and Use!

  • When nuts come in contact with the oxygen of the atmosphere air, they turn rancid. Nuts should therefore be preserved in air-tight containers. Un-shelled and unsalted ones keep longer than salted ones.
  • Soak walnuts in salted water overnight before cracking them in order to get the whole kernels.
  • The best way to crush nuts is to place them in a zip lock bag and pound with a mallet or the bottom of a small saucepan.
  • Dry fruits such as almonds and cashew nuts can be preserved using cloves as the preserving agent. Dry fruits that you buy should be moist and never dry. If they are, they are last season’s stock.
  • While adding fruit or nuts to a cake mixture - dust them in a little flour first, to stop from sinking to the bottom of the mixture during baking.

On SanjeevKapoor.com you can get all the recipes and tips to use these little crunchy treats. Also meet the lesser known nuts here.

Recommended recipes-

Thai Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce,  Baked Mushroom And Nut Crumble,  Peppery Nuts,  Coconut aur Kaju ka Sheera,  Gooey Peanut Chocolate Tart,  Chicken in Peanut Butter Sauce,  Singhada Salad,  Oatmeal and Nutty Toffee Rolls,  Sticky Date Pudding,  Chocolate Nutty Banana

website of the year 2013
website of the year 2014
website of the year 2016
MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.