Pine Nuts[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Pine Nuts: Pine nuts refers to the seeds of certain pine trees. Pine nuts grow between the scales of the pine cones. They have shells of varying thickness depending on the variety of pine tree. Pine nuts are harvested by first collecting mature cones, the cones are heated to open the scales and release the seeds, which are then hulled. Pine nuts can be purchased pre-hulled, or in the shell, although they are difficult to find in the shell and require much extra work. Each pine nut is very small by nut standards, the primary reason why many species of pine tree are not suitable for nut harvesting is the size of the seed, not the edibility. Hulling a bag of pine nuts in the shell is an exercise in patience... In North America pinyon pine tree nuts are commonly used, their seeds are less than 1/2 inch long and teardrop shaped. Pine nuts are popular in Europe and Asia too, particularly in Italy. Pine nuts have been consumed by humans since prehistoric times.
Pine nuts are best lightly toasted. Heating pine nuts adds character and enhances the flavor. One of the main ingrediants in pesto, pine nuts can enhance many dishes. There is even a pine nut "coffee" that can be found in the Southwest. Add them to meats and fish, salads, vegetables or deserts. They have a light nutty flavor and a delicate sweetness. Sprinkle a handful over a pork roast or chicken in your crock pot and then add your usual seasonings and vegetables. They are wonderful in soups and stews too. Cooking or toasting them first makes a marked improvement in their flavor. Toss them gently in a skillet over medium heat until uniformly light brown in color. Roasted in the shell they make a healthy and delicious but work intensive snack.
Very high in protein, vitamins E, D, A, and C, and monounsaturated fat, pine nuts are a healthy and tasty addition to any meal. They are particularly good for children and teans as they contain many beneficial nutrients specific to growing bodies. Pine nuts are also a good source of minerals and micronutrients, and contain nearly as much lecithin as soy beans. Iodine, fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, easily digestible.....pine nuts are a super food!
Where to buy: Pine Nuts