Posts Tagged ‘roasted vs. raw’

Go Nuts

April 8, 2013

noix de cajou

I love nuts, and while they are really good for you, they are also packed with calories, fat and sodium. There is a great debate, as to whether or not nuts should be consumed roasted, or raw. While the calories and fat content differences are negligible, many nuts lose some nutritional value when roasted.

Cashews and peanuts are however, are better for you when cooked. Both nuts have an increase in antioxidant absorption when heated at temperatures over 140 degrees.

Almonds, on the other hand, as best eaten raw, as heat has an adverse effect on their cellular structure.

Roasting your own nuts is almost effortless, and allows you to control the overload of added fats and salt used in commercially roasted products.

Today, I roasted a bag of cashews in a hot oven for about 10 minutes or so (with no added oil) until golden brown, and added a small sprinkling of sea salt. The raw cashews had a calorie count of 160 per 1/4 cup, and no sodium, while the store bought roasted and salted version had a calorie total of about 190 and 877 mg. of sodium for the same amount.

Most commercially roasted nuts use extra oil in the process,which is unnecessary in achieving good flavor.

The nuts smelled wonderful and it was a real treat to eat a handful of them fresh out of the oven. You can also toss some chopped herbs such as rosemary into the mix, or a little cayenne powder to give the nuts an added zip.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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