Hazelnuts are tasty and nutritious superfoods, and you can eat them fresh, straight off the tree! (Provided you have something to crack them open with). Raw hazelnuts have many health benefits and are convenient because you don’t have to spend time preparing them.
Health Benefits of Raw Hazelnuts
- A one ounce serving of hazelnuts (about 21 nuts) has 178 calories. Over 17 grams of those calories come from unsaturated fat (the good kind), over four grams of non-animal protein, and two grams of carbohydrates.
- One ounce of raw hazelnuts has nearly three grams of dietary fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol and is good for regulating your digestion.
- Raw hazelnuts contain higher sources of folate and vitamin C than roasted hazelnuts.
- Consuming raw nuts on a regular basis is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and reducing the chance of a heart attack by almost 50 percent.
- Raw hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E which is a natural antioxidant and an important factor in the production of red blood cells.
- Raw hazelnuts contain almost no sodium while roasted hazelnuts often have salt added.
- Roasted hazelnuts are often prepared in oil which adds more fat and calorie content than raw hazelnuts.
Raw Hazelnuts Serving Suggestions
- Raw hazelnuts are a great additive to sweets, baked goods and chocolate (like Hazelnut Hill’s handmade Oregon hazelnut candy and chocolates).
- Throw in some raw hazelnuts into your yogurt or oatmeal in the morning for a healthy and hearty breakfast.
- Adding chopped raw hazelnuts to your salads adds heartiness and a healthy source of protein.
- Adding hazelnuts to rice, quinoa, risotto, vegetables and pasta dishes adds a unique flavor and enjoyable texture.
Raw Hazelnut Recipe | Peach & Roasted Beet Salad with Hazelnut-Yogurt Dressing
- 1½ pounds small-to-medium beets, preferably Chioggia
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
- 5 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted skinned hazelnuts, divided
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 cups packed baby mizuna, tatsoi or spinach
- 4 ripe peaches, cut into ½-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons small fresh mint leaves or torn basil
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wash beets and place in a small roasting pan. Pierce all over with a small paring knife. Add water to the pan and cover with foil. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine yogurt, 3 tablespoons hazelnuts, honey, lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender; pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into ½-inch wedges. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with oil, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
- To assemble the salad, make a bed of greens on a serving platter. Drizzle with half of the yogurt dressing and top with the beets and peaches. Tuck mint (or basil) in between the beets and peaches. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts.
Storing Raw Hazelnuts
Like all nuts, raw hazelnuts can spoil so it’s best to buy small batches at a time or buy them still in the shell. Shelled hazelnuts have a shelf life of four to six months. You can extend this to a year by refrigerating or freezing them.