Roasted and salted pine nuts make for a delicious, healthy snack!

Pine nuts in their raw state, naturally produce a silky, sweet taste that leaves behind the hint of a butterfly flavor.  Add heat and relish how the already rich flavor intensifies.

Deciding to roast or toast the pines nuts can be determined on if you plan on heating them in their shell, or not. The amount of nuts you plan to cook also play a factor. Unshelled nuts fair better by being roasted in the oven. The shell adds a great deal of flavor to the nut and helps retain the nutrition content during the heating process.  The size of the roasting pan allows you to cook the nuts in larger batches.  Toasting small batches of shelled nuts in a skillet can draw out the flavor and aroma in a short amount of time.  Regardless if you choose to roast or toast the tasty little treat, you will be extending the nuts shelf life and bring out their sweet nutty flavor.

 To Roast:

Roasted Unshelled Soft Shelled Pine Nuts

  1. Place unshelled nuts into a colander and rinse for 1 minute. Do not dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Spread the wet nuts evenly on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven. Stir nuts every 10 minutes. Soft shell nuts can take anywhere from 45-65 minutes to fully roast (depending on the nut size and moisture content).  Hard shelled pine nuts roast at a higher temperature for about 10-15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, check the nuts frequently to see if the shells have turned a light golden brown and the meat of the nut is a butterscotch color. Do not overcook.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave the nuts to cool for approximately 20 minutes. (Do not remove from the pan. Nuts must remain loose and in a single layer during the cooling process.)
  6. To shell your pine nuts, spread the cooled pine nuts onto a dish towel. Cover the nuts with another dish towel. Roll over the nuts with a rolling pin while pressing down. The shells will break away, exposing the nut meat.

 To Toast:

  1. Set a small skillet over medium heat for a minute or two.
  2. Add the pine nuts to the dry skillet and toss every few seconds to make sure they don’t burn. (1-3 min)
  3. Nuts are done when they have a golden color and nutty aroma.

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