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Edible nuts and seeds contain good fats and essential trace elements and are quite healthy. Although often thought of as nuts, peanuts are actually legumes, but their nutritional value is similar. Soy 'nuts' are a concentrated source of soy protein, which is particularly good for women. Pine nuts are actually seeds removed from pine cones, most often used in recipes such as pesto.
Nuts are grown in a variety of areas, with Kentucky being a major producer of pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts. The trees are also very easy to grow, and many people plant them in their back yards. They are both attractive and useful.
Amongst the most popular choices in the United States are almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Cashews are used a lot in Asian cooking. Brazil nuts, which actually come from Brazil, are another popular snack. They are commonly eaten as snacks and may be raw or roasted. Snacks may contain a mix of nuts with or without other foods such as pretzel pieces. Peanuts are commonly served with honey. Gourmet nuts may be included in gift baskets.
Edible nuts are also used as flavoring. They can be turned into butter or praline, which is generally made with candied hazelnuts and almonds. Almonds are also sometimes turned into a dairy substitute. Many manufacturers of nut products work with multiple varieties and also sell them raw, either solo or mixed, as snacks or in bulk. Nuts tend to be sold shelled and dried rather than fresh. However, some people prefer to crack their own nuts and may buy a nutcracker.
Nuts are also used in cakes and cookies. Macadamia nuts are particularly popular, used to make macadamia brittle and more.
Nuts are distributed through retail outlets including grocery stores and health food stores.
There are so many different types of edible nuts that it's no wonder why people love this timeless snack. Gourmet versions have been enjoyed throughout the year, including pistachio, almond, walnut, and pecan varieties. Many stores will have mixed bags available so you can find your favorite flavors all in one place. Butter, cinnamon, and sugar glazed are excellent choices for snacks. Raw Brazil, cashew, honey roasted peanuts, pralines, sunflower seeds, and soy manufacturers will have their nuts go through the proper processing to ensure they're safe for customers to consume. Some companies will have the option of having bags with fruit and candy mixed with macadamia, hickory, pecan, pine, almond, walnut, and pistachio nuts. Retail stores will often have distributors send them fresh batches when the product is in season. You may find that edible nuts are cheaper depending on the month you shop for some. Buying in bulk will save you a lot of money if you enjoy eating this healthy snack each day. Gourmet versions can even make perfect gifts for friends, family, and co-workers. If you have a specific kind you want to buy you can call a store and see if they have anything available of if you will need to wait until the next shipment. Look online or in a local phone book to find the nearest store that sells the variety you like. Some may have websites that you can order from processing and have it delivered to your home or somewhere else as a gift.