The Hazelnut

Hazelnuts are a ' wonderfood' and so versatile. Commonly used in confectionary, particularly chocolate, baking and as a healthy snack food.   They are ideal for gluten intolerant diets and can be eaten raw, roasted or salted.    Roasting doubles the flavour and is easy to do yourself, just put one layer on a tray in preheated oven at about 190 deg cel , stir around after 8 minutes and back in again for another 8 minutes.   Timing will vary between styles of ovens.

Then you can choose to either rub the brown skin off with tea towel or leave on like I do because the health benefits are much greater.   A study published in the Journal of Food Science November 17 2010 shows that the antioxidative potential and total phenolic content of hazelnuts are significantly higher when the skin is left on. 

Hazelnuts are rich in minerals & vitamins (especially vitamin E), high in monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and oils –hence a great energy food  and are cholesterol free. As our family is very active in the outdoors and sports, the hazelnuts are always included in our snack food.  They also compliment salads, vegetables,  pasta or soups either natural or slightly roasted. 

Storage –Hazelnuts are quite resistant to spoilage due to their low moisture content (raw nuts 4 to 6 percent) combined with high vitamin E, provides resistance against oxidation and bacteria.  Hazelnuts can last up to 3 years if stored correctly in shell.  Once shelled they need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge (keeping fresh for six to eight months) or freezer.