Almonds

Almonds are slightly cheaper than other tree nuts, but they’re quite versatile. They store well in the pantry, and are good to have on hand as a daily snack. For those that avoid wheat flour, almonds can be ground into a flour and used for baking. You substitute wheat flour with the same amount of almond flour, but might need to add a few extra eggs to get the right consistency. You can also make your own almond milk: simply blitz 1 cup almonds (soaked in water for a few hours) with 4 cups water in a food processor until creamy. Strain the mixture – and enjoy!

Cashews and Macadamias

Cashews have a very high fat content and are incredibly creamy when blended. It’s great to use for spreads and sauces, especially if you can’t eat dairy. Cashews are popular in curries, where it’s used in grounded form to finish of a curry (or even a stew) to give it a thicker, creamier texture. Like cashews, macadamias are high in fat, so they have a creamy consistency when grounded. Cashews and macadamia nuts can also be used to make nut milk, in the same way as you would with almonds, but the resulting milk will be richer.

Walnuts

Walnuts can be used for sweet and savory dishes, and they’re especially popular in carrot cake. They make a good addition to a roasted beet and goat’s cheese salad. You can also use walnuts to create a pie crust. Simply blitz walnuts in a food processor, together with dates (for sweetness and binding). You can use almonds and pecans in the same way. If you need a buttery crust for quiche, nuts mixed with butter make a great substitute if you are on a paleo diet.

Pecans

Pecan nuts are also one of the most versatile nuts. They’re used in granola, baked goods such as brownies and muffins, and pecan pie. But did you know you can make a delicious (and healthier) crumb for chicken or fish? Simply mix grounded pecans with breadcrumbs. Dip your protein of choice in an egg wash, and roll in the bread-nut mixture. Bake until golden brown. If you plan on frying your piece of chicken or fish, don’t roast your pecans beforehand, as this could make the dish greasy. If you want a softer crumb, you can use almonds or pistachios. If you like sweet side dishes, add pecans to your next sweet potato casserole! Is it dessert?  Is it a side dish? We’re not sure, but it tastes delicious! Pecans store very well in the freezer, so if you want to save money by bulk buying, make sure to store them in the freezer.

What are your favorite nuts and why?