Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees. They belong to the family of pinaceae. Pine nuts is also known by other names like pignoli, cedar nuts, chilgoza, pinyon pinenuts, etc., Only about 20 species of pine nuts are worth eating.It takes 18 months for most pine nuts to mature, although some species can take as long as three years. Pine nuts feature tough dark-brown outer coat or shell. Inside, its edible kernel has cream white, delicate buttery flavor, and sweet taste. There are various health benefits of eating pine nuts like they improve eyesight, treat scalp problems, strengthen eyesight and boost immune system.
1.Suppress your appetite
Pine nuts release cholecystokinin- an appetite-suppressing hormone which helps to lose weight.
Various nutrients found in pine nuts like protein, magnesium, iron and monosaturated fat that helps to boost energy.
3.Reduce heart disease risk
monounsaturated fat, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and manganese found in pine nuts helps to reduce the risks of heart health. The pinolenic acids found in pine nuts help to reduce cholestrol levels from the body and enhances the liver health.
Pine nuts contain a lot of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and lutein which are imporatnt for our health. Antioxidants help to reduce free radicals which are responsible for aging process.
Lutenin found in pine nuts helps to protect us from eye related diseases like macular degeneration. Thus, helps in maintaing the eye health.
Evening best time to eat pine nuts. Pine nuts go well with every food item.
How to buy and store pine nuts
Pine nuts are both available shelled and unshelled. When buying pine nuts make sure they are free from cracks, mold, and spots and of rancid smell. When buying shelled nuts look for those feature bright brown color, compact, uniform in size, feel heavy in hand and should produce good metallic sound when poured down from a height. Store pine nuts in airtight jars and store in the refrigerator.
Ways to use pine nuts
Pine nuts can be used in many ways like
- Siberian pines generally enjoyed as they are. Additionally, they can also be eaten roasted, salted or sweetened.
- They also used in granolas, biscuits, cookies, chocolates and crunchy energy bar preparations.
- The nuts also used in salads; especially sprinkled over fruit/vegetable salads.
- Pinon nuts are used in desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream/confectionary based recipes.
- They frequently feature in meat, fish, and vegetable dishes.
- Pine nut oil is used in salad dressing and cooking.
Season in which pine nuts are available
Pine nuts are available all year round
How to make Spinach-pine nuts (palak chilgoza)
- 2 medium bunch of spinach
- 2 medium size onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 brown bread slices
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- to taste Salt
- Clean and wash spinach, use only leaves, roughly chop it. I used some from my kitchen garden.
- Break bread slices into pieces, put
it in mixer jar, churn and make bread crumbs. Do not grind it too fine. Keep
- In a pan heat up oil, add cumin
seeds, asafoetida, after few seconds add chopped onions.
- Fry till onion start turning brown.
- Add raisins and 1/4th cup of water.
Let it be for 1 minute.
- Add chopped spinach pepper powder,
chilli flakes and salt.
- Increase the flame, stir and cook
until most of the liquid is reduced.
- Fry till onion start turning brown.
- Add prepared bread crumbs, stir. In
few minutes all the water will be absorbed.
- It’s ready to serve. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy.
How to make pine nut chutney
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup coconut,freshly grated
2-3 dry red chillies
2-3 green chillies
2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
salt to taste
water as required
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 dry red chilli
few curry leaves
2 teaspoon oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Dry roast pine nuts for a minute,cool an set aside.
Put all the ingredients to grind in blender and make a fine paste using enough water.
Heat oil in a pan an a garlic,mustard,curry leaves.Stir and turn off the heat and add chilli powder.
Pour this tempering over the chutney.Mix well an refrigerate till use.
Serve with dosa,idli or rice.
One of the most common risk that can cause from eating pine nuts is allergy.The reaction symptoms may range from simple skin itching (hives) to severe form of anaphylactic manifestations, including breathing difficulty, pain abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea. People who have allergic reactions from pine nuts are advised to not to use it.
Sometimes eating pine nuts can cause pine nut mouth also called as pinme nut syndrome. It’s an intense bitter, metallic aftertaste that can persist in your mouth for a day up to two weeks.
Fun facts about pine nuts
- Pine nuts get their name because they are found inside pinecones.