You can easily make roasted nuts on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet. They are great as a delicious snack or as an addition to many dishes.
I love roasted nuts! Oh, the crunch!
They’re so easy to make that it’s almost not worth an entire blog post. Almost! Given how delicious and versatile they are I think they DESERVE an entire blog post! Don’t you?
Why roasted nuts?
Roasting nuts brings out more of their nuttiness and deepens their flavor. Since they are high in (good) fats, they get that nice crunch when roasted.
For me, crunch is often what I am looking for in a snack. But better yet, roasted nuts retain their crunch whether you sprinkle them on top or bury them in your food.
Many people like roasting nuts as it decreases the amount of phytic acid (an enzyme inhibitor).
Roasted nuts: which kind is best?
Any nut can be roasted: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, and macadamias. For simplicity reasons, though, I will focus on walnuts and pecans. Of course, the same is true for seeds that you can roast in the same way as nuts.
Nuts are easy to find. Many stores have bulk bins where you can buy just the amount you need without packaging. But you can also find them online (check here).
How to eat roasted nuts?
We love to just eat them by the handfuls as a snack. Especially around the holidays, they are great on an appetizer plate (think crackers served with roasted nuts, cheese, and something sweet such as fig jam or cranberries).
You can sprinkle roasted nuts over your morning cereal or yogurt.
They make a great topping for salads or soups.
Roasted nuts are great in baked goods or desserts. You can bake them right into your cookies (cinnamon star cookies or chocolate chip cookies with walnuts or pecans) or cakes (apple pies taste great with walnuts and cherries do well with almonds).
For any pesto (have you made a dandelion pesto?), you can use roasted walnuts or almonds. I actually always like to roast pine nuts when making traditional basil pesto.
Sometimes, I grind roasted nuts into a nut butter which to me always tastes better than using raw nuts.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
How to make roasted nuts:
Of course, one way to roast nuts is in the oven. In this post, I am showing you how to do that on the stovetop. I love my cast iron skillets and think that they are just perfect for toasting nuts. Especially, when you have a smaller amount of nuts you’d like to roast.
All you do is put the nuts into the hot skillet. I find that it’s ok to leave pecans whole but many nuts will roast a bit more evenly when you first chop them into smaller pieces. Sliced or slivered almonds work better than whole ones, too.
To avoid scorching them, you want to continuously stir them. Watch them as you are doing this to avoid scorching them. Once they have become fragrant they are done. Voilà!
Let them cool down and store them in any container. They will be good for a long time but I bet you’ll find so many uses for them that they won’t last long 😊