Fundamentals: How to Toast Nuts
Nuts on their own are a delicious and satisfying snack. But when it comes to baked goods and recipes, toasting the nuts will add depth to both the texture and the flavor, and allow the nuts to compete with stronger flavors instead of fading into the background. Think toasted walnuts and bananas – without toasting the walnuts, the banana overtakes the baked good, and all you get is the “crunch” when you find nuts.
If you’ve never toasted nuts before, you might be feeling a little intimated. But there really is no need! You can toast nuts in a myriad of ways – in the oven, on the stovetop, or even in the microwave – yes really, the microwave!
Toasting nuts releases their essential oils. This causes the nuts to become more fragrant and flavorful than in their raw state.
- baking sheet, frying pan, or microwave safe plate
- clean and dry dish towel
- In baked goods
- In pasta dishes
- As a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, salads, or sundaes!
How to Toast Nuts
|Almonds (sliced)||7-10 minutes|
|Almonds (whole)||10 minutes|
|Macadamia Nuts||12-15 minutes|
|Pine Nuts||5 minutes|
|Peanuts (in shell)||15-20 minutes|
|Peanuts (shelled)||20-25 minutes|
- Spread a single layer of nuts on a microwave safe plate.
- Cook them in 1 minute intervals on full power, until the nuts have a crisp crunch, toasted flavor, and have become fragrant. The amount of time it takes varies per nut. You will not get the same dark color you get from oven or pan toasting, but this will do in a hurry when you don’t want to dirty a pan or heat up the oven for such a simple task.
- Heat a large frying pan on the stove top. Turn on medium-high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add a single layer of nuts. Do not add any oil or cooking spray – the nuts have enough oils on their own to cook.
- Stir frequently with a spatula until the nuts turn golden brown and smell mouth-watering.
- Remove from heat, and if necessary, from pan, as they will continue to cook after being removed from the heat.
- The oven method is the most often used when toasting a large volume of nuts. Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the oven is ready, use the table below to cook to your specified nut.
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. If using mixed nuts, 15-20 minutes will probably suffice to make sure all the nuts are done, but check them often. You may also want to stir and flip the nuts at the half way mark on time, to make sure that all nuts are heating evenly, but it is not necessary.
- If you have toasted any nuts that have skins on them, like peanuts or hazelnuts, simply allow them to cool for a few minutes, and then place the nuts in a clean and dry kitchen towel.
- Rub them vigorously with the towel, and the skins will slip right off. Don’t worry about any skins that do remain, however. They will not affect any food you add them to, and the skins are safe to eat.
The table above is a simple time guide. Ovens heat differently, so your timing may vary. Please check the nuts often, and make sure to stir them if it appears the nuts are getting more done on one side of the oven. You can also rotate the baking sheet in the oven.
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