Kitchen Hints and Tips
- Revive stale shelled nuts by placing in a flat foil pan and putting
in a 300 degree F oven for ten minutes.
- Shelling nuts a day before using them will give air a chance to bring
out the oil and moistness, improving their flavor.
- When grinding in a blender or food processor, add a tablespoon of sugar
or flour to each 1/2 cup of nuts to keep them from "clumping"
or forming a paste.
- To quickly crack open a large amount of nuts, put them in a bag and
gently hammer until they are cracked open, then remove nutmeats with
- To bring out the wonderful nutty flavor, toast nuts before using in
cakes or pies. Spread the ground or whole nuts in a jellyroll pan. Toast
at 350 degrees F for 10 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring
occasionally for even browning.
- One method of roasting and salting nuts is to lightly whip an egg white
in a large bowl. Pour the nuts into it and shake them around. Scoop
them out of the egg white and scatter on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with
coarse or kosher salt and bake at 300 degrees F until the nuts are golden
- Toast raw nuts by placing them on a cookie sheet and brushing lightly
with a mild cooking oil. Place in a 350 degree F oven and turn the nuts
from time to time until they are uniformly golden brown. Sprinkle with
salt after toasting if desired.
- Nuts can be chopped in a blender successfully by adding about a tablespoon
of flour to the nuts before you grind them.
- To prevent nuts from sinking to the bottom of a baked dish, mix them
with some of the flour called for in the recipe before stirring them
into the batter.
- To blanch almonds, bring to a rolling boil enough water to cover about
a half cup of nuts. Drop the nuts in the water, remove from heat and
allow the nuts to stay in the hot water for about a minute. Remove with
a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Use a paring knife to assist
the nut out of the skin.
- To remove Brazil nuts, bake them at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or
freeze. Crack and shell.
- To open a coconut, puncture the eyes with an ice pick and drain out
the coconut water. Place coconut in a shallow pan and bake at 350 degrees
F for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the shell begins to crack. Cool it
enough to handle, than tap it smartly with a hammer. The shell will
almost spring apart. Pry out the meat with a knife.
- To shred coconut, peel off brown skin with a swivel-blade peeler or
paring knife. Place pieces of coconut in blender with some of the coconut
water (or the liquid called for in the recipe). Process until fine;
pour out and continue with the remaining coconut. This short-shredded
coconut is suitable for use in pie fillings, batters, and fruit desserts.
- To remove hickory nuts in one piece from their shells, hold the nut
between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand, stem end to the
right. Place the narrow side of the nut against a brick, and sharply
tap the nut with a hammer at a point one-third the length of the nut
from the steam end. With a little practice, you'll soon be turning
out more whole nutmeats and fewer fragments.
- Pecans will come out of their shells in one piece if cooked first in
boiling water for 15 minutes.
- If it's important to get the walnut meat out whole, soak overnight
in salt water before cracking gently.