Who doesn’t like hazelnuts? Not as tough to get to as walnuts and certainly not as commonplace as the humble (yet popular) peanut, the hazelnut is a type of nut that’s just between excitingly exotic and comfortingly ordinary.
With a distinct flavor and texture that sets it apart from other nuts, as well as a number of heart-friendly health benefits, hazelnuts can easily become one of your favorite snacks if you haven’t tried them before. However, if you already have and you’re looking for new ways to enjoy this wonderful nut variant, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some creative and absolutely scrumptious ways to enjoy hazelnuts.
One of the best and tastiest ways to enjoy the health benefits of hazelnuts is by drinking delicious hazelnut milk. Yes, it’s one of those nut-based plant milk products that are usually recommended for people who can’t quite consume dairy milk. However, not only is hazelnut milk lactose-free, it’s also cruelty-free. As such, they are a good option for vegans and vegetarians as well.
Ice cream toppings
If you’re bored of just crunching down on a handful of hazelnuts, then why not have them with your favorite dessert? Just crush them into small chunks, and sprinkle them over a scoop or two of your preferred ice cream. This not only adds a bit more texture and nutty taste to your otherwise soft and predictable dessert, it also gives it an added healthy kick and provides you with an energy boost.
Hazelnut chocolate spread
Another common and absolutely scrumptious way of enjoying hazelnuts is by having it in its hazelnut-chocolate spread form. It’s a treat that has been enjoyed the world over since Napoleon’s naval blockades in Italy prompted dessert-starved locals to look for something to add to expensive cocoa paste. Hazelnut-chocolate spreads are also very versatile. You can have it on a sandwich, on a cracker, on a banana, or even as a cheeky alternative to ketchup for your fries to get that sweet-and-savory combination going on).
If you’re looking to give your chocolate chip cookies a more interesting flavor and texture, then why not add some hazelnuts into the mix? Just crush or dice a handful of hazelnuts, and toss and mix them into the batter just before you scoop the dollops to make the cookies.
Let’s say you’re on a salad diet and you’re getting a bit tired of your usual vinaigrette or olive oil dressing. Treat yourself to a change without having to resort to the unhealthier dressing varieties by using hazelnut oil instead! It’s just as flavorful and packs the same health benefits that hazelnuts do.
There’s nothing tastier than choice cuts of meat or fish that’s deep-fried with a crunchy coating of breading. You can make a healthier version of your usual breading by adding crushed-up toasted hazelnuts to the bread bits! You get the same crunchy goodness but with an aftertaste that’s sure to bring out the savory flavor of your meat of choice.
There you have it—six delicious ways to enjoy hazelnut, besides eating them on their own, that is. Do note that this is not an exhaustive list, and you may have thought of some other unique ideas of your own. No matter how you choose to enjoy your hazelnuts, though, just remember to check beforehand if you or the people you’re serving hazelnuts to are allergic to these otherwise very wholesome nuts.