Tiny little nuts pack a wallop of nutrients (See Benefits of Eating Nuts) and their complex flavors can be enhanced simply by toasting them. Start with raw nuts if possible. You can purchase bagged raw nuts in regular supermarkets in the baking aisle, but you'll get the best flavors from fresh nuts. It's not always easy to tell how fresh the dry goods are in the bulk sections of natural food stores. But if you shop in a bulk department that's always busy, they're bound to be filling those bins on a regular basis. You may also find great deals at farmers markets.
There are two main ways to toast nuts: in the oven or on the stovetop. On the stove, toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring for up to about 10 minutes, as they begin to brown.(Some nuts will leave a little oil behind in the pan. Don't hesitate to cook something yummy in that fresh oil!)
Or spread nuts on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees. Stir them up about every five minutes or so. They'll be nice and golden in about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle your toasted nuts on yogurt, salad, brownies, fish--almost anything! Or chop them up and mash together with crushed graham crackers and butter for a scrumptious but easy pie crust.
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