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The image of hazelnuts has changed over the past decades. Once considered a fattening food full of calories, nutrition experts now recommend eating them due to the contained “good” fat, which supports a strong heart amongst other health benefits.

Hazelnuts are sweet and incredibly nutritious edible kernels from the birch family of trees. The country that produces the most hazelnuts in the world is Turkey, followed by Italy and the US. Hazelnuts are a rich source of nutrients that have cardio protective benefits. These nutrients include vitamin E, folate, B vitamins and arginine. Hazelnuts also have one of the lowest percentages of saturated fat and one of the best sources of heart healthy fats. They are one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants among “superfoods” and one of the most antioxidant rich nuts. Hazelnuts are delicious on their own, roasted, salted or sweetened. Also excellent for refining of pastries, salads, sauces and desserts. To simplify things, the purchase of shelled hazelnuts is recommended. Use the “Borner Nut’n more” to crack open nuts that are still in the shell. Hazelnuts in a shell can be kept for several months. Peeled hazelnuts make a great choice for baking. Put hazelnuts in a baking oven at 200° C for ten minutes to remove their skin. The skins splits and is easily removed.

People suffering from allergies should be cautious when eating hazelnuts as they can trigger certain allergies.

An interesting fact is that cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios and macadamia nuts are referred to as nuts, but are really stone fruit and related to cherries and peaches. Apart from that, peanuts belong to the family of legumes such as beans and lentils.

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