Nuts are one of the most delicious and nutritious foods you can find. They have a unique texture and taste, not to mention making a great addition to add flavor to a variety of dishes. They are jam-packed full of health-boosting benefits, and just a handful of nuts provides you with a host of vitamins and minerals to fulfill your daily quota. However, people tend to skip toasting nuts because it seems like a time-consuming process that just takes way too much work. Yet, when you skip toasting your nuts you sacrifice both the flavor and texture.
Eating raw nuts is enjoyable and absolutely delicious. However, the heat not only deeply enhances the flavors inside the nut but also releases the health-boosting oils that are deep inside the nut and are otherwise left dormant. Toasting the nuts is a great way to enjoy them as well, because they become much more pliable with a unique crunchy texture that has more of a snap. They even turn a lovely deep golden-brown color that looks much more satisfying in meals like salads than a standard raw nut. The good news is you can get all these great benefits of the toasted nut without all the hard work with a simple trick that many people don’t know about. In this article, you’ll learn how to use the microwave to quickly and effectively toast nuts without all the hassle or mess.
Health Benefits of Nuts
Before we go over how to toast nuts in the microwave, let’s first talk about why you absolutely should. As mentioned above, nuts contain a variety of key nutrients. Just two Brazilian nuts a day provides 100% RDI for selenium for an adult. That’s an insane amount of selenium in just two small nuts. You would have to eat 5 hard-boiled eggs, 3oz of turkey, 3oz of tuna, and a whopping 14 cups of oatmeal just to come close to the amount of selenium contained in just those two nuts.
Nuts are also a great source of fiber. They provide most if not all of your essential nutrients including folate, several key B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. In addition, they contain the important minerals selenium, magnesium, copper, plus added phytochemicals like antioxidant compounds from flavonoids and resveratrol, and plant sterols.
Just 10g of nuts per-day can take the place of many other nutritious fatty foods as well. They are naturally low in sodium, high in potassium, and contain healthy carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. From almonds to cashews, and hazelnuts to pecans, adding nuts into your diet is such a simple yet effective way to ensure your nutritional needs are met, while providing your body with the antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.
How to Toast Nuts in the Microwave?
When you use the oven to toast nuts, it’s a time-consuming process that most people just rather avoid. Taking an hour or more to heat the oven, prepare the nuts, toast them and finish the task takes a lot of time and effort. Luckily, toasting nuts in the microwave is so simple once you know how to do it, you’ll never toast them any other way. The microwave not only makes the process faster, but it does the job of toasting the nuts much better than other methods.
The microwave heats the nuts quickly, efficiently, and evenly from all directions, which is something the oven can’t do. When toasting smaller nuts in the microwave, it’ll actually toast the nuts from the outside and inside at the exact same rate, resulting in a perfectly toasted nut. The microwave makes it easier too because the even cooking means there is less stirring needed. Using a microwave-safe plate or bowl also makes the carryover easier because you don’t have to quickly transfer them from a hot skillet to a cool plate.
The microwave approach to toasting nuts not only works well for nuts, but also other ingredients that need quick toasting before use, like seeds, whole spices, and shredded coconut.
When using the microwave to toast your nuts, the method is simple. This method works great for a small number of nuts, as little as 1/2 a tablespoon all the way up to ½ a cup. The cooking time will depend on the size and type of the nuts, along with the type of microwave, but the time difference is very small and is simple to determine by simply monitoring the process.
In a microwave-safe bowl or flat pan, spread your desired number of nuts evenly in a single layer. A 9-inch microwave-safe pie plate is the ideal cooker. Then add just a small amount of either soft butter or margarine or a small amount of oil to the nuts. You’ll then stir the nuts to evenly coat them in your butter or oil mixture and microwave on high for one minute. Stir the nuts and microwave on high for another minute. You’ll then want to check to see how the toasting is going. If further toasting is needed, you’ll add more microwave cooking time in one-minute increments to ensure they don’t burn, as this can happen quickly.
When toasting smaller amounts of nuts, they will generally be done in about 2 minutes. Larger amounts of nuts, such as an entire ½ cup, or whole almonds generally require 1-2 minutes longer until they turn a golden-brown color and their delicious fragrant oils come out. Once you’re done toasting your nuts, take what you need and the rest can be stored in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks. You can even freeze them, and they will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
When toasted, nuts offer a hearty meaty taste that would otherwise be lacking if left raw. While a handful of raw nuts is beneficial when you’re on the go and want a quick snack, they are nothing compared to the nutrition packed goodness of toasted nuts. Toasting nuts is a great way to add vital nutrition to your diet, and with the microwave method it’s easier than ever to supplement nuts into your everyday meals. You can enjoy the health benefits of nuts by adding them to soups, salads, pasta, and vegetables. Toasted nuts also make a great topper for cereal, yogurt, and salads. No matter if you eat them by the handful, including them in your breakfast, or add their unique taste to your dinner recipe, when using the microwave method for toasting your nuts, you’ll always have time to add these nutrition-packed treats to your everyday diet.