Nuts and Seeds
Ingredients Descriptions and Photos

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Vegan - Vegetarian Recipe Book
How Mary and Frank and Friends Eat

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Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
Nuts and Seeds

(Almonds)  Almonds grow on a medium sized tree that is related to the peach, and like the peach, the almond tree produces beautiful pink or pinkish-white flowers.  The almond tree is native to the Mediterranean, but it is now grown commercially in other areas of the world, such as California.  Almonds have a high nutritional ratio to calories when compared to other nuts, but like all nuts, they are high in calories.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Brazil Nuts)  The towering Brazil nut tree was originally discovered growing in hard, well-drained land along the Amazon River in South America.  The Brazil nut tree produces a large round or pear-shaped fruit with an outer skin, a hard outer shell, and a core containing twelve to twenty Brazil nuts.  Brazil nuts are hard to crack open and to retain the whole nuts (as pictured), as the nut usually breaks up with the shell.  We have found that the best way to open Brazil nuts is to place them in the freezer.  When frozen, the nuts crack open easily, retaining the whole inner nut kernel.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Buckwheat)  The origin of buckwheat is believed to be central and western China. Many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, but it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.  Buckwheat is also highly nutritious, as can be seen in the nutritional chart.  Roasted buckwheat groats are called kasha.  Whole buckwheat can be used as a substitute for rice and cooked as a cereal. Buckwheat flour can be used in making oven cakes, pancakes, and breads.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Butternut Squash Seeds)  This is a photo of the seed cavity of a butternut squash that has been cut in half, lengthwise.  We like to scoop out the seeds and roast the whole seed for a snack.  See our recipe for toasted squash seeds.  Squash seeds are a good source of calcium and zinc.  The nutritional chart is roasted whole seeds, which can be seen by clicking on the photo or link.  The only nutritional data we could find was for roasted pumpkin and squash seeds considered together.

(Caraway Seeds) Caraway is probably most often recognized as the seeds in rye bread, but it is also used in a number of other recipes, such as soups, casseroles, curries, and even liquors, because of its strong aromatic flavor. These much enlarged caraway seeds are in a 1 tablespoon measure, and are in actuality only about 2 millimeters long. The so-called seeds aren't really seeds, but the fruit of the 2 foot high Carum carvi plant, a native of Asia, Europe, and North Africa. To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.

(Cashews)  The cashew tree is relatively small, usually not growing over twenty to thirty feet in height.  One nut grows on the end of a pear-shaped "apple".  The nut is then roasted in its shell to release a toxic substance.  It is then cracked open and the kernel (edible portion) removed and marketed.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Chestnuts)  The chestnut tree is related to the Beech tree and is a native of the Northeastern United States.  The commercial growing of chestnuts in the United States was wiped out by a blight in the early 1900's.  Today, most of the commercially available chestnuts seem to be imported from Italy.  The fruit of the chestnut tree is prickly and contains two or three chestnuts; the outermost ones are rounded to the outside of the cluster and flattened to the inside.  Chestnuts that are flat on both sides are the inner nut of a "three cluster".  We have found that store purchased chestnuts are extremely prone to fungus (mold), especially later in the season.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Chestnuts, Dried)  Dried and peeled chestnuts are sold in bulk in specialty food stores and coops.  They are an excellent way of having chestnuts all year long, and when you are adding chestnuts to a recipe.  Boiled (reconstituted) chestnuts are also good to eat, and they are generally sweeter than the roasted chestnuts in the shell.  In recent years, we have found that the quality of the chestnuts in the shell has been going down with many being moldy; the dried chestnuts do not have this problem. When the dried chestnuts are boiled, most of the dark brown husk that remains on the chestnuts (see photo) will come off.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart click on the photo or link.
(Coconut, Unsweetened Flaked)  Flaked unsweetened coconut is made from dehydrated coconut meat, which has been separated from the shell.  We have not seen flaked unsweetened coconut sold in supermarkets, but it is commonly sold in health food stores and by coops.  It is prone to becoming rancid, so we only buy it in sealed containers and store it in our freezer.  We use unsweetened coconut mostly for flavoring of Oriental recipes, desserts, and smoothies.  Unsweetened flaked coconut is very high in calories, with 80% coming from fat.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Fennel Seeds)  We use fennel seeds mostly for flavoring in some of our recipes, particularly in pasta sauce.  It has a mild licorice or anise type odor, and is often mistaken for anise. Actually, fennel seeds are not really seeds; They are actually the fruit of the sweet fennel plant. This herb has been cultivated for culinary use for thousands of years, and most cooks have referred to the fruit as “seeds”, since they are small and usually sold in a dry form which looks exactly like a seed.  They are available in most supermarket seasoning sections or from health food stores or coops.  To see the nutritional chart click on the photo or link.
Filberts (See Hazelnuts)
(Flaxseed, Dark)  Flaxseed comes from the same plant from which we get linen.  The seed is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to good health.  The Omega-3 in flaxseed has been associated with reducing LDL cholesterol, improving immune function, and reducing the risk of blood platelet aggregation.  The nutritional value of flaxseed is released only if the seed is ground or crushed.  We cannot digest the whole seed.  Flaxseed has a pleasant nutty flavor, and crushed seeds can be added to a salad.  The soluble fiber in flaxseed acts as a thickening and binding agent.  We add flaxseed to our fruit and vegetable smoothies.  Flaxseed should be stored in the freezer to preserve its freshness.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link (we could not find any nutritional data that distinguished between light and dark flaxseed).
(Hazelnuts)  Hazelnuts grow in clusters on a shrub.  The nuts are covered with a prickly-haired husk, which can easily puncture the skin, but which the squirrels seem to be most adept at penetrating.  They are often used commercially in candy and baked goods.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Peanuts)  Peanuts are not really a nut, but an underground growing bean or pea, which led to their being called "Goober's peas".   Dry roasted peanuts are good tasting, a fun food (especially when in the shell) and not a junk food; but they are very high in calories because of their high oil content.  The nutritional chart, which can be seen by clicking on the photo or link, is for the shelled nuts.
(Peanuts, Dry Roasted)  We purchased some unsalted dry roasted peanuts from our coop, and have also seen them in most supermarkets selling for about one half the cost of natural peanut butter with no additives.  As a result, we have been experimenting with the use of dry roasted peanuts in our recipes as a substitute for peanut butter, when it is prepared in our Vita-Mix. By volume, the dry roasted peanuts are slightly over one half the weight of peanut butter, so we use twice the volume of the amount of peanut butter called for in the recipe. And, best of all, we found that it has the exact same flavor and taste. The dry roasted peanuts can also be ground in the Vita-Mix or a food processor to make smooth or chunky peanut butter. To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Peanut Butter)  We only purchase pure peanut butter with no other ingredients added.  This particular brand's label lists the only ingredient as: organically grown, dry roasted, unblanched valencia peanuts.  We use peanut butter for sandwiches, sauces, and in making our vegan slushies and ice cream.  We could not find complete nutritional data for this type of peanut butter; however, we suspect that it would be the same as that of peanuts, which has the same fat, protein, and carbohydrate percentages according to the label.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Pecans)  Pecan trees are native to the Southern United States and were commercially planted as early as the 1600's by the Spaniards.  The name comes from an Algonquin word for all nuts that have to be cracked open with a stone.  We use pecans mostly for top decoration of our oven cakes ( baked pancakes) and fruit cake.  We also eat the nuts plain.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Sesame Seeds)  Sesame seeds come from the seed pods of Sesamum indicum. They were used by the Assyrians as far back as 1,600 - 3,000 B.C.E., depending on the reference source. We use sesame seeds as an outer coating for some of our bread and roll recipes, and as an ingredient in dips, dressings, and other recipes.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Sunflower Seeds)  The sunflower seeds in this photo are raw and machine hulled.  We use them in baking and sprinkle them on our salads. We purchase our raw sunflower seeds from health food store, specialty supermarkets, and from cooperatives. Sunflower seeds are nearly 50% fat, and can go rancid if stored at room temperature, so we always store them in our freezer.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Walnuts)  The commercially available walnuts are the English walnut (pictured).  The English walnut has been grown commercially in Europe since Roman times.  Walnuts are probably the most popular of the hard shell nuts.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.