Everything You Need To Know About Roasted Nuts
Are Roasted Nuts Healthy?
Whether you prefer your nuts sweet, salty, toasted, candied, or raw; nuts are an incredibly delicious snack that you can enjoy anytime. There’s no denying that raw nuts in their pure and natural form are healthy; full of a variety of nutrients such as protein, fibre and heart-healthy fats. But what if you prefer them roasted? Do roasted nuts offer the same health benefits and nutrition as raw? Let’s break it down!
Why Roast Nuts?
Roasting is defined as a slow-cooking method, wherein indirect heat is used to evenly cook the food on all sides. There are two types of roasting: dry roasting and oil roasting. Dry roasting is a type of roasting in which no oil is used, whereas oil roasting is just that - when oil is used in the cooking process. For a lot of people, roasted nuts are far superior to raw nuts as it is widely agreed upon that it improves the flavour, texture, aroma and basic crunch factor of the nut making it an overall better snaking experience. It also has been shown that roasting nuts does nut affect the nutritional value or overall structure of the nut to a significant degree. Another added benefit of roasting nuts is that it can make it easier for your body to digest them. For example, researchers have found that roasted almonds, in particular, take less effort and time to digest than their raw alternatives. So, if you are someone with digestive problems; roasted nuts may be the better options for you.
Nutritional Differences Between Raw and Roasted Nuts
In most cases, there are very few nutritional differences between raw and roasted nuts, especially dry roasted nuts. If the nuts have been roasted, the fat content and the calories are slightly higher, and the protein content is slightly decreased.
For a better understanding of this, let’s compare the nutritional differences between one ounce raw, dry-roasted and oil-roasted cashews:
Raw cashews: 157 calories, 12.43 g of fat, 8.56 g of carbohydrates, 5.17 g of protein, and 0.9 g of fibre.
Dry-Roasted Cashews: 163 calories, 13.14 g of fat, 9.27 g of carbohydrates, 4.34 g of protein, 0.9 g of fibre.
Oil-Roasted Cashews: 165 calories, 13.6 g of fat, 8.5 g of carbohydrates, 4.8 g of protein, 0.9 g of fibre.
As you can see there is little difference between raw and roasted cashews, most of the slight variations comes from the reduction in moisture content and addition of the oil (in the oil-roasted cashews).
Is There Any Danger in Consuming Raw Nuts?
Raw nuts do have a potential danger of containing certain types of illness-causing bacteria. In general, low moisture foods such as tree nuts and peanuts, are not typically prone to bacteria growth. However, Salmonella has been reported in almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, pine nuts and pistachios on several occasions. In addition, E. coli has been detected in hazelnuts, peanuts and walnuts (1). So should you be concerned? The risk for consuming contaminated nuts is very low. In fact, the most effective way to avoid contaminated raw nuts is through properly storing the nuts, so that they are at the correct temperature and humidity.
So, Are Roasted Nuts Healthy?
The answer is short and simple! Yes, roasted nuts are healthy and both raw and roasted nuts can be consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Are Roasted Nuts Gluten-Free?
Nuts most certainly are gluten-free in their natural state. This includes almonds, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts and most seeds like sunflower and sesame seeds, as well. The one thing that you do have to worry about in some cases though, is if the nuts are roasted or packaged with any additives or flavours. When roasting, some brands do use wheat flour or wheat starch as a coating. This is usually added to thicken the seasoning, so it sticks better to the nuts. However, many brands do use gluten-free thickening solutions or just have very basic ingredients that don’t require a wheat starch, so their nuts remain completely gluten-free. It is also best to read the label on the package to determine the gluten-free status of the nuts you are interested in.
What about Candied Nuts?
If you are someone who enjoys candied nuts such as candied pecans or candied walnuts; there may be more of a concern with regards to people with gluten sensitivities, however. Again, it depends on the brand. In restaurants, more often than not, candied nuts will contain a wheat flour in their coating to help the sugar and seasonings stick better. One thing to note though is that candied nuts (and roasted nuts for that matter) are extremely easy to make at home and there are plenty of great recipes online that are gluten-free.
Furthermore, many nut brands cannot guarantee that their products are gluten-free simply because their nuts may not be roasted and packaged in a completely gluten-free facility. Thus, cross contamination is an issue.
Are Ayoub’s Nuts Gluten-Free?
Yes 100%! We just take raw nuts as they are and roast them, so no wheat/barley/rye gets caught up along the way. As well, we roast them daily in our stores, so cross-contamination is not an issue.
Do Roasted Nuts Go Bad?
You might have been there before, you have a container of old nuts that look fine but it’s been so long since you purchased them that you’re not sure if it is still safe to eat. If you’ve had this experience before (we certainly have!), you’ve come to the right place. We will walk you through how long roasted nuts last, how to properly store them and how to tell if they’ve gone bad or not.
How Long Do Roasted Nuts Last?
If you’re lucky enough to have a best-before date on a pre-packaged container of nuts, that’s a good indicator for how long they will last; however, if the best-before date has already past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are no longer consumable. The main function of the best-before date is more to provide you with an idea for how long the company expects the nuts to maintain their best quality. In other words, the best-before date is more of a rough estimate for whether or not the nuts have past their peak freshness. So how long do they last? In terms of raw nuts, most shelled nuts will last from about 4-6 months at room temperature. If you have nuts with the shell on, they will last anywhere from 6-9 months, as the shell helps the nuts maintain there freshness for longer. You can also refrigerate or freeze nuts, in which they will last even longer - for up to a year. Roasted nuts, on the other hand, have a shorter shelf life. If possible try to consume them within 2 weeks; however, they should be okay to eat up to a month after purchase.
How To Properly Store Nuts
At room temperature, raw or roasted nuts should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place. But it is also very common to place them in the fridge or freeze them if you know you won’t be consuming them right away. If you have bought roasted nuts, make sure you check them regularly, however, as they do not tend to last as long as raw nuts. Try to consume roasted nuts within two weeks, if stored at room temperature.
How To Tell If Nuts Have Gone Bad
If you have an old bag of nuts in your pantry and are uncertain if they have gone bad, their are a few things to check for before tossing them out entirely. Here’s what to look for to determine if your nuts have gone bad or not:
- Check for mold and fuzz. If there is mold, fuzz or anything else growing on the nuts, they have gone bad and toss the whole bag.
- Look for bugs. If you see any bugs in the container with the nuts or even just in the pantry surrounding the container, discard the nuts immediately.
- Check the shape and texture. If the nuts look shriveled, wrinkled or dried out, they may be still okay to eat but will not taste good. We recommend tossing them out.
- Smell them. If the nuts give off a odor that is similar to some chemicals or the smell is very strong, the nuts have gone bad and throw them out.
- Taste them. If you haven’t noticed anything irregular from the list above, feel free to taste them. If the taste is bitter, the nuts have gone rancid and it’s best to toss them.
Does Roasting Nuts Destroy Nutrients?
We all know that nuts are an incredible source of nutrition and are considered a healthy snack worldwide. Naturally rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, there’s no wonder that they are considered an essential part of any diet. Many people prefer to consume roasted nuts as they are generally tastier, crispier and overall more satisfying than their raw counterparts. However, are roasted nuts as healthy as raw nuts or during the roasting process do they lose some of their valuable nutrition? Let’s break down the science and get to the bottom of this question!
In general, nuts are a great source of a variety of nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorous. They are also quite high in healthy fats. Some of these nutrients are more sensitive to the roasting process than others. A good example of this is antioxidants. Antioxidants have so many different health benefits from reducing oxidative stress and cancer risk to boosting mental health and supporting healthy aging. And these are only a few of the myriad of benefits! When antioxidants are exposed to high temperatures over a certain period of time, it has been shown that the antioxidant content of that food decreases, but only up to a certain point. In a 2009 study, the antioxidant content of various nuts roasted at a temperature of 300°F for 30 minutes was tested. The result was that the levels of antioxidants found in all forms of nuts decreased steadily throughout the roasting process. But what’s interesting is that after 60 minutes of roasting, antioxidant levels of some nuts actually increased (1). The reasons for this are not well understood; however, one theory is that additional antioxidants may be formed through certain chemical reactions that happen during roasting. So, although certain antioxidants are lost, a small amount of antioxidants may also be formed during a prolonged roasting process.
Some vitamins inherent in the nuts may also be affected by the roasting process, specifically vitamin E, thiamine (vitamin B1) and the carotenoids. These vitamins tend to be more sensitive to the heat. For example, a 2017 study found that in both almonds and hazelnuts, vitamin E levels were significantly decreased by 20% and 16% respectively compared to their raw counterparts. The study also found a direct correlation between the higher the temperature and the greater the amount of vitamin E lost (2). The same study also observed thiamine levels. Similarly to vitamin E, thiamine levels decreased during roasting and as the temperature increased, the greater amount of loss occurred. Interestingly, riboflavin (vitamin B2) levels were not affected at all by the roasting process (2).
Variations in Nuts
The amount of nutrients lost during roasting does not just depend on the method of roasting but also on the type of nuts that are roasted. In fact, it can be said that some nuts are slightly more sensitive to the roasting process than others. The most common roasted nuts are peanuts, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts. Walnuts, one of the most popular nuts, is more delicate in texture. In addition, its irregular, wrinkled shape makes it more challenging to roast evenly. Walnuts are also quite high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which makes it more susceptible to oxidation during roasting, and thus a less desirable nut both in appearance and from a health point of view. The nuts that are least likely to have their nutritional value altered during roasting are hazelnuts and pistachios, and the nuts most sensitive to roasting include both walnuts and almonds.
Although the nutritional value of raw and roasted nuts are not significantly different, during the roasting process some antioxidant and vitamin levels are shown to have decreased. This depends, however, on the roasting temperature, time and type of nut.
Can You Roast Nuts in the Air Fryer?
We love using an air fryer for all sorts of different recipes. It’s a healthier alternative to frying and, in our opinion, air fried food tastes just as good as its deep fried counterpart. But have you ever wondered if you can roast nuts in the air fryer?
The answer is absolutely you can! The indirect, dry heat from the air fryer creates an almost perfect, crunchy, golden colour to nuts, with the added bonus that it’s also a healthier alternative than on the stovetop or in the oven! You will be able to roast the majority of nuts in the air fryer; however, be careful of using chopped or sliced nuts as they may be smaller than the air fryer basket holes. So be sure to use whole nuts, as opposed to halves or pieces.
Tips for Toasting Nuts in the Air Fryer
- It’s okay to roast nuts with the skin on; however, you will need to take the skin off after they have been toasted. To do this most effectively, place the warm nuts in a paper towel and rub them together until all the skins have fallen off.
- If you are roasting smaller nuts, such as pine nuts or peanuts, place them on a small baking sheet that will fit on top of your air fryer basket. Just make sure the sheet you choose is heat safe. Roast the nuts for the same amount of time, tossing halfway.
- If you are adding the roasted nuts to a recipe that calls for chopped nuts, chop the nuts after roasting. Roasting whole nuts ensures a better result.
- Immediately after the nuts have finished roasting, remove them from the air fryer basket and place on a flat baking sheet or plate. Do not place in a bowl while they cool, as they will not cool evenly when stacked on top of each other.
How to Toast Each Kind of Nut
Depending on the type of nut, the roasting times will vary. Here is a detailed list of each type of nut and their estimated roasting time:
- Raw almonds (whole): 5 to 6 minutes
- Raw cashews: 4 to 5 minutes
- Raw hazelnuts (skin-on): 4 to 5 minutes (see Cook’s Note)
- Raw macadamia nuts: 3 to 4 minutes
- Raw peanuts (shelled with skin-on): 4 to 5 minutes (see Cook’s Note)
- Raw pecan halves: 4 to 5 minutes
- Raw walnut halves: 3 to 4 minutes
Roasted nuts will last in an air container at room temperature for about 2-3 months. Alternatively, you can store them in a freezer bag for up to 1 year in the freezer.
The Best Air Fryer Mixed Roasted Nuts Recipe
Equipment You Will Need:
- An air fryer (any size will work)
- A small mixing bowl
- A small baking sheet
- Raw Mixed Nuts - we used almonds, pecans, walnuts and cashews
- Olive Oil
- Herbs - we used a combination of rosemary, oregano and thyme
- Salt and Black Pepper
How to Air Fry Nuts:
- Preheat the air fryer to 325F.
- In a small bowl, combine the mixed nuts, olive oil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Stir to coat the nuts evenly and completely.
- Add the coated nut mixture to the preheated air fryer and cook for about 6 minutes. Be sure to toss them halfway through to ensure they cook evenly and to prevent any browning.
- Remove from heat and let the nuts cool completely before serving.
Roasted Nuts Recipes
Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Pecans
CINNAMON. SUGAR. ROASTED. PECANS. What more do we have to say?! Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Pecans are sweet, crunchy and an incredibly easy snack perfect for the holidays! You only need a few simple ingredients to make this gluten-free, dairy-free and freezer-friendly addicting treat! Did I mention that making these will make you house smell amazing too! Sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, salads or just have them as a snack, one things for certain - you’ll be hooked! To view the full recipe with pictures, click here.
Made with just 6 everyday ingredients that you will no doubt find in your kitchens, this may be one of the simplest recipes to make. Here’s what you will need:
Pecans. For this recipe we recommend using raw, unsalted pecans. Buy them already halved, so you won’t have to do the extra work of halving them yourself. We wouldn’t recommend substituting any other kind of nuts for this recipe, there is something about the combination of pecans, sugar and cinnamon that you can’t beat!
Brown Sugar. Brown sugar adds all the sweetness! You can use both light or dark brown sugar, whichever you have on hand will work.
Cinnamon. Cinnamon adds such a nice flavour that works well with the brown sugar.
Salt. You can use regular table salt or sea salt for this recipe, whichever you prefer.
Egg White. Egg white is essential for coating the pecans with the sugar and cinnamon. You will only need one egg white for this entire recipe.
Vanilla Extract. Vanilla is such a nice touch that rounds out the flavours so nicely.
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Pecans
You will not regret making this recipe! The smells that will waft out of your kitchen and make your house smell heavenly. Also, despite the long baking time, it’s so incredibly easy. Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg white until light, foamy and frothy. It will take about 2 minutes. Then mix in the vanilla and add the pecans until they are coated evenly.
- Next, spread the coated pecans in a single layer on the parchment paper lined baking tray and bake in the oven for about 1 hour, until they become fragrant and toasted. Make sure you stir every 15 minutes, so they don’t burn.
- Once the pecans are finished baking, immediately take them off the tray and let cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy! To store, place in an air-tight container.
These roasted pecans go super well with a wide variety of dishes including:
Breakfasts. Serve on top of oatmeal and yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup. So good!
Salads. Top salads with a handful or two of these nuts. Specifically, winter salads like kale or brussel sprout salads work really well.
Roasted Veggies. Side dishes like roasted beets, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots or a mix of a variety of veggies would be even better topped with these sweet pecans.
Baking. Top muffins, pies or even cookies with these pecans for an extra treat.
Ice Cream. How can you make ice cream better? Add a handful of cinnamon sugar roasted pecans!
How To Store
If you are not using these pecans right away, once completely cooled, place the roasted pecans in an airtight container. They should last at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
You can also freeze them! Let them cool and then place in a freezer-safe bag. They will keep for up to 3 months. Once ready to eat, thaw at room temperature and enjoy!
Chili Roasted Pistachios
Chili Roasted Pistachios are sweet, salty, smokey and crunchy all in one! These perfectly toasted pistachios are coated in a mildly spicy, honey-chili sauce, roasted until crisp and ready to eat in just 30 minutes. Enjoy them as a snack, serve them at parties or give them as a home-made gift in a mason jar for the holidays; however you choose to eat them, you really can’t go wrong! When these crispy, crunchy, flavourful nuts are served warm, that’s when, we believe they are best – and not to mention the aroma is irresistible! Naturally oil free, gluten-free and vegan; what’s not to love about this recipe?! To view the full recipe with pictures, click here.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Although they may be small, pistachios, like most nuts, are nutrient powerhouses, packing a whole lot of goodness into their small bodies. High in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, pistachios are one of the healthiest nuts that there are, which is why they have been a staple in the diets of millions of people for centuries.
The protein, fiber, and healthy-fat content of pistachios are also great at helping you to feel satiated for longer, which can aid weight loss. In-shell pistachios are particularly good for those looking to lose weight because they also encourage mindful eating and slow you down.
You only need a handful of ingredients for this recipe: pistachios, a few spices and honey! Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
Pistachios. Pistachios are the star of this dish! Their gorgeous purple and green colours add so much colour to this recipe. Not only will this recipe taste and smell delicious, but it will look fantastic as well. Choose unsalted pistachios with the shells removed. Salted pistachos also work if you omit the additional salt from the recipe. Try and find shelled pistachios so you save time and won’t have to shell them yourself.
Honey. Honey adds a sweetness that will balance out the saltiness and other spices of this recipe. Honey and chili powder surprisingly go so well together! The sugars from the honey will crystalize in the oven and give the nuts the most delicious caramelized crunch!
Chili and Cayenne Powder. This combination of spices will add the perfect mild spice to the nuts. If you are wanting a bit more spice, just add another ¼ tsp of cayenne powder to bring the heat!
Garlic Powder. The garlic powder rounds out the other flavours of this recipe perfectly.
Salt. Salt will enhance the overall flavour of the pistachios making them irresistible!
How to Roast Pistachios
Roasting pistachios couldn’t be any easier. Here’s how to do it in 6 easy steps:
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2. Make the chili sauce. Whisk the honey, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne together in a bowl.
Step 3. Pour the sauce over the pistachios and stir until they are evenly coated.
Step 4. Transfer the pistachios to the baking sheet, using the back of a spoon to spread them out.
Step 5. Bake the pistachios for 20-25 minutes until they are crisp.
Step 6. Enjoy! Wait 5-10 minutes before serving to let them cool.
Can You Air Fry the Pistachios, Instead?
You sure can! To air fry, marinate the pistachios in the sauce and they lay the coated nuts in an even layer in your air fryer basket. Fry at 325°F for 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. When they’re finished, let them cool before serving. So easy!
To store make sure the nuts are completely cool and dry. Transfer them to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a week. You can also freeze them, in which they will keep for 2-3 months without going rancid.
Cocoa Roasted Almonds
With just 4 ingredients, these cocoa almonds are the low-sugar, healthy snack that will satisfy even the biggest chocolate lovers! In just 20 minutes, these perfectly crunchy, flavourful and 100% naturally sweetened cocoa almonds can be yours! They are the gluten-free, low sugar, vegan afternoon snack that also makes a last-minute holiday gift! Plus, as an added bonus, it’s healthier and cheaper than the store bought chocolate almonds! To view the full recipe with pictures, click here.
5 Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds have been revered as a healthy food source for thousands of years. Today, almonds are still considered a nutrient-packed ingredient, providing those who consume them with a variety of vitamins and minerals and a number of health benefits. Here are just 5 of the many health benefits that you could see from eating almonds on a regular basis.
- A Better Memory - Almonds contain a number of nutrients that help to improve cognitive function and to delay age-related brain decline. Alongside, Vitamin E, folate and fiber, almonds are also a great source of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the brain, and so eating just a single serving (28g) of almonds a day can help to keep your brain healthy and will improve the longevity of your memory.
- Better Cardiovascular Health - Alongside helping to reduce cholesterol levels, almonds are also one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin E, with a single serving providing 37% of a person’s recommended daily intake. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and when combined with healthier cholesterol levels has been scientifically proven to help prevent heart disease.
- Easier Weight Management - Despite being high in healthy fats, almonds are a great weight loss food, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer whilst also providing many essential nutrients. There have been many studies conducted on almonds with relation to weight loss, with one finding that those who ate a daily serving of almonds increased their weight loss by 62% compared to those who avoided the nuts and ate a diet rich in complex carbohydrates.
- More Energy - If you find that your energy levels tend to rise and fall throughout the day, then you may have difficulty regulating your blood sugar levels. Almonds are a great source of magnesium which helps your body to regulate your blood sugar, leading to improved and more consistent energy release throughout the day.
- Better Digestion - Finally, almonds are also a great source of fiber, which gives them beneficial prebiotic properties that help to improve the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Just a single serving of almonds provides 3.5g of fiber, which is the same amount as a whole cup of cooked brown rice.
You just need 4 ingredients to make this delicious treat! Here’s what you need:
- Almonds - It’s best to use unsalted raw almonds. We don’t recommend using salted almonds as the recipe may turn out to be too salty.
- Cocoa Powder - An absolute MUST! It gives the almonds a delicate chocolatey flavour.
- Honey - provides a touch of sweetness. You can also use maple syrup in place of the honey, which makes the recipe vegan-friendly. Maple syrup is slightly less sweet than honey, so you may need to adjust the amount.
- Sea Salt - for an extra flavourful touch!
How To Make Cocoa Almonds
This recipe couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you will need to do:
To start, you will need to roast the almonds. Preheat the oven to 300°F and spread the almonds evenly on a baking tray. Bake for around 8 minutes. Then, take them out of the oven, shake the pan lightly to make sure they get roasted evenly and bake for about 7-8 minutes more.
Once the almonds are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 2-3 minutes.
After they have cooled, place almonds in a medium-sized bowl and add the honey. Mix it.
Add the cocoa and sea salt to the almond honey mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Spread the almonds back on the baking sheet or flat surface and allow them to spread out and cool.
Once fully cooled, enjoy! Or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
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