Hazelnuts are a type of nut that comes from the Corylus tree. They are mostly grown in Turkey but Italy, Spain and the United States also produce them. Hazelnuts can be used to make cooking oil, they can be used to flavour chocolate spreads and you can use them in cake baking! They are safe to eat raw but they are great toasted!
They have a hard outer shell which needs to be cracked, inside they are small and round with a sweet taste.
The nut itself comes in a thin brown skin which can be slightly bitter. If you don’t like the taste you can remove it by blanching them for 10 minutes with a little baking soda.
Hazelnut nutrition and health benefits
Hazelnuts are rich in nutrients and have a high content of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They are also abundant in antioxidants which are good for stopping or delaying damage to your cells! One of these antioxidants is called proanthocyanidins. This antioxidant has even been linked to the prevention and treatment of some types of cancers.
They contain high levels of vitamin E, vitamin B6, zinc, manganese, copper and Thiamin. Hazelnuts are also quite low in carbohydrates. Per 100 grams of hazelnuts, there are about 646 calories.
Like all nuts, they may cause an allergic reaction. In extreme cases, this may lead to an anaphylactic shock. If you think you make me allergic to hazelnuts it is important to talk to your doctor about taking an allergy test!