Hazelnuts are derived from the nut of the hazel tree. The Hazel tree belongs to a genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the Northern Hemisphere. The hazelnuts are eaten in different ways. It’s eaten raw, roasted or grounded into a paste.
It’s no surprise that hazelnuts are one of the most popular nuts in the world. The nuts are prized for its distinct nutty taste. Hazelnuts are an excellent ingredient in desserts, candies, and pastries. Plus, they are loaded with health-giving nutrients. In today’s post, we go in-depth on the amazing health benefits of hazelnuts. We are also giving you ways to get creative with this healthy nut in the kitchen:
Packed with Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals refer to a special class of plant-based chemicals with biological significance. Hazelnuts are packed with proanthocyanidins, quercetin and kaempferolerol. These compounds are important in maintaining organ functions. They boost brain health, prevent allergies and improve blood circulation. Flavonoids in hazelnuts keep the heart healthy and the organs in tip-top shape. Noshing just a handful of hazelnuts is enough to provide all the phytochemicals you need for the day!
It’s Heart Friendly
Just like most nuts, hazelnuts contain beneficial fats that keep the heart and arteries healthy. Hazelnuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and low in unsaturated fats. It’s also an excellent source of oleic acid that lowers bad cholesterol. Oleic acid also raises the good cholesterol in the body!
High in Vitamins and Minerals
Hazelnuts are loaded with essential vitamins like vitamin A, B, C and E. Vitamin B keeps the cells healthy and the metabolic rate normal. Vitamin E keeps the skin, nail and hair healthy! Hazelnuts are so rich in vitamin E, a serving yield 100% of your recommended daily allowance of the vitamin.
The nuts are also excellent sources of folate, magnesium, calcium and potassium. These minerals work together to lower blood pressure, promote stronger bones and assist in cell regeneration! It’s so rich in folate and potassium that pregnant women are recommended to boost their diet with this nut.
Getting Creative in the Kitchen
Hazelnuts are so versatile; it’s so easy to incorporate them into your diet. Hazelnuts come in various forms including oil, shelled, unshelled, grounded or raw. You can replace unhealthy chips and pastries with toasted hazelnuts as snack. You can add sweetened, salted, raw, or roasted hazelnuts to any appetizers. You can also sprinkle crushed hazelnuts on toast with butter for added crunch to sandwiches.
In baking, you can add hazelnuts to cookies, cakes or chocolates. You can also add it to salads or muesli! Give your everyday bowl of oatmeal a nutritious boost with a handful of chopped or crushed hazelnuts and raisins. Add texture to your stir-fry veggies by adding unsalted roasted hazelnuts. You can also use hazelnut oil instead of the nuts to your favorite desserts.
Essentially, you can replace any recipe that requires other nuts with hazelnuts. It brings a lovely crunch and aroma to any dishes. It also offers deep, earthy flavor to your favorite drinks!