We’ve talked quite a bit about the importance of nuts and seeds in our diet as a great protein source and a source of good quality, heart-healthy fats. Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals as well.
Both nuts and seeds impart a great flavor, too. There is a secondary flavor that comes from roasting nuts or seeds that is highly prized by some of our best cooks.
We keep a small supply of both raw and roasted nuts on hand to toss into lots of dishes like pastas, bean salads, lettuce salads, rice dishes, etc.
If it is a nut that we use a lot, then we go through them so fast that we don’t worry about the fats going rancid outside the frig. Otherwise, we keep jars of nuts in the refrigerator so they won’t spoil.
Recipe for Roasting Nuts and Seeds
Roasting nuts and seeds is incredibly simple. There are two easy ways to roast nuts and seeds.
1. Roasting in the oven.
Spread out the nuts or seeds on a cookie sheet (no oil needed since nuts are loaded with their own oils). Put the cookie sheet in the oven at about 275° F. and cook them for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check them every 15 minutes or more so you can pull them out if they are done.
What you are looking for is a nice, warm browning that will make them just a little more crisp than they were to start.
The nuts or seeds will brown evenly. You can taste them if you like. They will start to take on a roasted taste as well. Once you decide they’re done, let them cool on top of the stove and put them in an airtight jar when cooled.
2. Roasting on the stove top.
Grab a wide, heavy pan like a cast iron frying pan. Spread out the nuts or seeds in it and turn on the burner to low or just above low. (No oil needed since nuts are loaded with their own oils). It behooves you to take this slowly because they can burn easily and will only be burned on one side.
Turn them regularly with a hamburger turner or spoon to mix them up and turn the surfaces over.
They will roast a lot more unevenly, but this gives a “salt and pepper” look, which some people like, particularly for sesame seeds. Just pay attention to them to avoid blackening one side, which screws up the taste. When they’re roasted enough, remove them from the pan and let them cool on another surface, like a plate or in a bowl. Then put them in an airtight jar to keep them fresh.
There are many other things you can do to them in the roasting process. Some people put flavorings on them, such as chili powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar, etc., but this is just the simple process of getting them roasted for the flavor that imparts.
Anyone have recipes for flavored nuts?