Cookbook:Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds
CategoryBasic foodstuffs

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Nuts in cuisine are a much less restrictive category than nuts in botany, the term being applied to many seeds that are not true nuts in the botanical sense. Any large, oily kernel found within a shell and used in food may be regarded as a nut. Because nuts generally have a high oil content, they are a highly prized food and energy source. A large number of seeds are edible by humans and used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted, or roasted as a snack food, or pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics.

Nuts are a significant source of nutrition for wildlife. This is particularly true in temperate climates where animals such as squirrels and jays store acorns and other nuts during the autumn to keep them from starving during the winter and early spring.

Nuts of temperate climates are dominated by wind-pollinated trees of the Order Fagales:


Some "nuts" that are not true nuts in a botanical sense:

  • Almond; edible part is the seed of a drupe
  • Brazil nuts are seeds from a capsule
  • Cashews are seeds
  • Coconut is a drupe
  • Horse chestnut is a capsule
  • Peanut, the fruit and seeds of a legume
  • Pecan; edible part is the seed of a drupe
  • Pine nut or piñon is the seed of a conifer
  • Walnut, a drupe which includes Persian walnut, Japanese walnut, black walnut, heartnut, and butternut



See also