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Because you should really be doing it yourself

Rebecca Firkser
October 16, 2018

Allow me tell you about the importance of toasting nuts yourself. Now, I know you can probably walk to the nearest drugstore and buy yourself a package of roasted almonds or pistachios whenever you darn well please. However, if you did a side-by-side taste test, freshly toasted nuts and seeds are just plain better: they’re crunchier, deeper in flavor, and just, well, toastier. Here’s how to do it.

This method applies to any nuts or seeds—almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, pepitas, sunflower seeds—though final cooking time will vary based on the size of the nut and temperature of your individual oven.

Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 325ºF. Pour 1 cup of whichever nuts or seeds you want to toast onto an unlined, rimmed sheet pan—but not a combination of several kinds; again, they won't all toast at the same speed. Drizzle the nuts with 1 tablespoon oil (I often use olive oil, but grapeseed or avocado oil will also do the trick). If you’d like, add a couple pinches of kosher salt. Even if you end up using the nuts in sweeter applications, like to top a bowl of oatmeal or in cookies, a little salt will only help amplify the flavor of whatever else you’re eating. Toss the nuts with the oil and salt if using, and slide the sheet pan into the oven. After 5 minutes, toss the nuts around a bit to ensure even browning. Continue toasting the nuts for 5 minute intervals until they’ve browned a bit and smell toasty. Ultimately, smell will likely tell you when they’re done, but it should take between 10 and 20 minutes to fully toast the nuts.

Once you’ve toasted the nuts and let them cool, the possibilities are endless. Grind them into the most roasty-tasting DIY nut or butter. Give them a rough chop and use as a topping for oatmeal, salads, smoothies, or yogurt. Stir them into a batch of DIY granola (after it’s baked) or muesli. If you’re not going to use the nuts right away, transfer them to a mason jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and crunchy.

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