When should hazelnuts be roasted? Any yummy recipes?

shelled hazelnuts
Photo credit: EESC slide collection
Q:

When is the best time to roast filberts, raw or dried? Everything I've found on the internet says to roast after drying. I have already cracked a bunch of undried filberts. Do I just roast as if dried? Do you have receipes for flavored roasted nuts?

- Washington County, OR
A:

The best time to roast nuts is after they are dried. The reason it is recommended that the nuts be dried at a low temperature is so that the oils do not come to the surface. After they are dried then the nuts can be roasted and crisp up. This is also the reason that they recommend roasting as you use the nuts. The quality will be better for long term storage if they stored dried. It certainly is not a safety issue if you want to try drying them as you roast them but they will probably turn rancid faster.

If you have a food dehydrator you can dry them on the lowest temperature, It is best to keep the temperature between 90-100 degrees F.

Here are a few recipes for flavored roasted nuts:

Plain Roasted Nuts

Spread shelled nuts, with or without skins in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. For each cup of nuts, drizzle on one or two teaspoons of oil over the nuts. Bake in a preheated 300° F. oven. Time is about 10 to 20 minutes for almonds, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts; 20-30 minutes for filberts and cashews. Stir occasionally. Spread the roasted nuts on paper towels to crisp and cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer prior to giving as a gift.

Salted Roasted Nuts

Sprinkle salt to taste over the above sheet of oiled nuts prior to baking. Following directions for Plain Roasted Nuts.

Garlic Roasted Nuts

For each cup of nuts, combine: ½ teaspoon garlic salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon paprika. Sprinkle over the nuts to be baked.

Smoke-Flavored Nuts

For each cup of nuts, combine: ¼ teaspoon hickory-smoke salt, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon onion powder and a dash of cayenne.

Note: For less salty nuts, use a few drops of liquid smoke in place of smoke-flavored salt.

Mexican Nuts

For each cup of nuts, combine: 1 teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, salt and cayenne to taste. Sprinkle over the nuts to be baked.

Nellie Oehler
Family and Community Health Faculty
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