HAZELNUTS - Why hazelnuts have many talents
Every child knows them, and they are very popular with everyone: As finds show, hazelnuts were already a sought-after food in the Stone Age. This comes as no surprise, because unlike Brazil nuts, pecans or Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts have been harvested in Central Europe since time immemorial. However, the fact that they are so familiar to everyone is no reason to push hazelnuts aside as ordinary and uninteresting. On the contrary: There is a lot to be reported about the active ingredients of the tasty sources of energy, and we can only provide a fraction of it here.
The hazelnut is in the birch family and has been native to this country for thousands of years. However, more than 60 per cent of the world’s annual yield is now harvested in Turkey. Many hazelnuts are already processed there – and, of course, also in other countries of origin – in a variety of ways. After roasting, the seeds are chopped into small pieces or crushed into flour and then, like the pressed hazelnut oil, serve as a basic material for many sweets, for example nougat and brittle or ice cream. Other hazelnuts have a woody shell and, when we have cracked them open, develop their delicious flavour and great effect.
A handful of hazelnuts contains so much goodness
Hazelnuts contain around 60 per cent of fatty oil, and as little as 100 grams supply around 2,700 kJ of energy. For this reason, only a few kernels are sufficient to create a feeling of satiety and to supply the body with valuable nutrients. Here are just a few of the main effects:
- the healthy omega-6 fats contained in hazelnuts lower cholesterol levels and protect the heart.
- The kernels contain a lot of lecithin which is good for the nerves, improves memory and aids concentration.
- Vitamin E, which is also abundant, prevents free radicals and protects the body’s cells.
- The dietary fibre content has a positive effect on our digestion.
Another strength of hazelnuts is their versatility
Hazelnuts are therefore always recommended as a snack, as long as we do not eat vast quantities of them. They are also found in many other foods, such as pastries or spreads. And just in case you don’t already know them, you should definitely also try the following ways of using them:
- Chopped hazelnuts provide a great contrast in salads
- Ground hazelnuts as an ingredient in pesto or another tangy sauce
- Hazelnut butter as an alternative to other sweet spreads which often have a high sugar content.
There are hardly any limits to your imagination – enjoy the diverse talents of hazelnuts!