Get ready to go nuts for nuts!
Nuts, seeds and kernels are wonderfully healthy and delicious
Nuts, seeds and kernels combine healthy nutrients, full-bodied flavor and versatility, making them a fundamental, and very popular, component of vegan cuisine. Because if you follow a vegan diet, you’re putting the focus on plant power. And that’s precisely what nuts provide, which is why we’re absolutely nuts about them! They give you plenty of energy, a concentrated dose of high-quality plant-based proteins, fats, carbohydrates that are easy for your body to utilize, fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. The plant-based fats in nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, such as important omega 3 fatty acids. Linseeds are especially good in this regard.
But that’s not all: nuts and seeds are also a good source of amino acids. Crunchy snacks such as pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and hemp or chia seeds not only taste great – they also contain the vital amino acid lysine. And to top it all off, depending on the variety, nuts and seeds can also contain trace elements and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium.
So, eating a handful of a mixture of these little energy powerhouses each day will do your body plenty of good! And so that you can enjoy these nutty delights to the max, we have a few tips for you on how best to prepare them.
Flours, butters, dips and pastes
Whether you use nuts in the form of a fine flour for baking, or as a nut butter to spread on toast, you’re feeding two birds with one scone – replacing animal fats with high-quality plant-based alternatives, and enjoying wonderful, full-bodied flavor. When transformed into flours, nuts and seeds also bring with them wonderful baking qualities which will make any cake a success! Why not try baking with almond flour, coconut flour, tiger nut or peanut flour? In Austria, poppy seeds also feature in many sweet dishes.
Nut butters, from almond butter to hazelnut butter and peanut butter have been popular for some time with flexitarians and vegans alike, especially for spreading on toast. Often even less well-known are their savory cousins: especially tahini, from the Arab world, which is made from (usually toasted) finely milled sesame seeds, and can be used in very versatile ways in orientally-inspired vegan cuisine. If you like your food slightly less exotic, sunflower seeds are a great allrounder which can be used in very versatile ways in vegan cuisine. Nowadays, even meat substitute products sometimes contain sunflower seeds.
A great snack for your next coffee break
If you’ve got a long day ahead of you, you need to make sure you have an energy boost on hand. How wonderful that you can snack on delicious nuts or nut mixes! Of course, there are classic mixes of nuts and raisins and/or other dried fruits, known affectionately in Germany as “student feed” or Studentenfutter. But Brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds or cashew kernels also taste great on their own, and give you that much-needed energy kick! For an extra-long energy boost and to feel full, why not go for a nut bar? – also great as a snack when doing sport!.
Toppings & pestos
Pretty much everyone knows that nuts are great with muesli. But they’re also a wonderful accompaniment to savory dishes. A mix of nuts and seeds can take any soup or salad to the next level, as well as any noodle or veg dish, or home-baked bread.
Toasting allows nuts and seeds to develop their aroma fully. Preparing them like this makes them ideal for topping a salad for lunch, or as a secret ingredient in a marinade which will ensure you get the flavor and crunch you’re aiming for. Have you ever tried adding black sesame or nigella seeds to Asian dishes? Many seeds are familiar to us as spices – from caraway to fennel seeds.
Our top tip for a bit of vegan sophistication: why not try some crunchy nuts on your favorite pasta instead of Parmesan? Just take a handful of nuts of your choice, a pinch of salt, garlic, ground pepper and herbs of your choice, breadcrumbs, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blitz all the ingredients one after another, then mix together and stir with some oil in a pan on the hob. Heat the mixture, and toast it while stirring until golden brown. This deliciously-scented mixture is known in Italy as “pangritata”, and can be scattered over pasta dishes or vegetables.
It’s also no longer a secret that you can use nuts to make a quick pesto: Simply mix together your favorite herbs with olive oil and finely chopped nuts, season to taste, and there you have a wonderful Italian treat which tastes amazing with pasta, or as a spread or dip. For the highest level of sophistication, use pine nuts or pistachios.
Nuts in liquid form
Almond drinks now enjoy widespread popularity. Many people experience a kind of eureka moment when they try cashew and hazelnut drinks, too. One thing’s for sure: nuts definitely taste great in liquid form – whether you enjoy the drink as it is, in coffee, or as a tried-and-tested alternative for using in baking and cooking. And of course, energy from nuts in liquid form can also be found in some plant-based protein drinks.
Whether they’re made from almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts: nut butters are simply irresistible! Especially now, during summer and the berry season, nut butters can be used as a great basis for delicious shakes. Just take your favorite berries, a plant-based alternative to milk, and a tablespoon of nut butter (such as almond butter), combine in the mixer and sweeten to taste. And there you have it: the perfect vegan summer drink, which not only tastes delicious, but will also replenish your energy and protein reserves.
But nut butters are not just a good choice for making shakes: they’re also yummy as they are or spread on toast – and guarantee outstanding flavor. If you want to broaden your range of options even further, why not enjoy a delicious chia pudding for dessert? Whether you enjoy it as it is or with fruit or berries, it’s perfect for summer!
Why not take a browse through our great range of nuts and seeds? Here at velivery, we have a broad, diverse range of delicious nutty treats for you! Have fun discovering, trying out and enjoying our nut products!
8 interesting facts about nuts, seeds and kernels:
1) Why are pistachios green?
Everything becomes clearer when you know that pistachios are not, in fact, real nuts. They are actually stone fruits. The cotyledons inside these fruits are green. And: the greener, the better!
2) Not edible when raw!
Remember: cashew nuts are not edible in their raw state. You can find out more about cashew nuts (which are, in fact, not really nuts) here.
resemble the brain, and it is thought that they are also beneficial for the organ. Walnuts contain plenty of vitamin B and E, lecithin and magnesium, as well as calcium, potassium, iron, and omega 3 fatty acids. That’s why they have become known as “brain food”.
4) Pecans: the cousins of walnuts
Botanically, pecans are from the same family as walnuts, but they taste milder and slightly sweeter.
5) A hard nut to crack
The hardest nut around is the macadamia nut. With these nuts, a conventional nutcracker won’t get you very far. Luckily, these hard-shelled delicacies are normally sold shelled. Walnuts can sometimes also be hard nuts to crack. We recommend putting them in the freezer for an hour. The cold changes the structure of the shell, making them much easier to crack.
6) Nut by name, nut by nature?
As with pistachios, coconuts, almonds and pecans are actually the seeds of stone fruits. Other (slightly larger) seed grains, on the other hand, include nutmeg, pine nuts, so-called cedar nuts, Brazil nuts, and cashew nuts. Peanuts are particularly tricky: they are, in principle, pulses, but are classified as nuts because, in contrast to peas and other pulses, their shells remain shut. And did you know: the German word for peanut translates literally as “earth nut” (Erdnuss), because they grow underground?
7) Nuts from the forest
Sweet chestnuts (the nuts of the sweet chestnut tree) are better known as a popular treat at German Christmas markets than in their natural state in the forest. Be careful not to mix them up with horse chestnuts, which are much more widespread in Germany, but which are inedible. But that’s not all the forest provides – you’ll also find nuttiness in the form of beechnuts and acorns. But beware: Without painstaking preparation, acorns are inedible for humans, and you’ll need to take care with beechnuts because of the hydrogen cyanide they contain. But we reckon that alongside these wild forest inhabitants, we’ve given you such a broad range of “domesticated” nutty ingredients to try in your vegan cuisine that you’ll be positively spoilt for choice!
8) Nut oils: a real delicacy
Walnuts are made up of almost two thirds oil. Just as walnut oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are also popular ingredients for taking dishes to the next level. Other seeds and kernels are also well-known as popular plant-based oils, such as sunflower oil or pumpkin seed oil, but also hempseed oil or linseed oil.