Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Are you looking for a healthy alternative for snacks? If so, hazelnuts might be the right option for you. They are extremely high in "good cholesterol" or unsaturated fat and contain very little unwanted saturated fat. They are also particularly popular because of their high vitamin E content.

In our big hazelnut guide, you will find our recommendations for the best hazelnuts to make your purchase decision as easy as possible. We also show you what criteria you should look for when buying hazelnuts and finally answer questions that have often been asked about hazelnuts in the past.




The most important facts

  • Hazelnuts have a great nutritional profile. While they are high in calories, this is largely due to the relatively high amount of healthy fats.
  • When buying hazelnuts, you can choose between roasted, unroasted, shelled, unshelled and ground.
  • Hazelnuts also have health benefits. They can help lower blood lipids, regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve blood sugar levels.

The Best Hazelnuts: Our Picks

Hazelnuts enjoy a wide selection of products in many online shopping platforms as well as in bricks-and-mortar stores. In the following, we have selected the best hazelnuts to help you make the best possible purchase decision.

Buying and evaluation criteria for hazelnuts

The following section is intended to give you an overview of the most important criteria to consider when buying hazelnuts. This will make it easier for you to compare the products with each other.

These are the following buying criteria:

Consequently, we will go into more detail about each factor and show you what to consider for each criterion.

Package size

Before you buy hazelnuts, you should consider how many you will need. Most packages contain either 500 or 1000 grams of hazelnuts.

This is roughly equivalent to 300 and 600 hazelnuts respectively. However, there are also other offers with 250 grams or 1.5 kilograms and more. In addition, for small quantities, several packs are usually combined into a single offer.

Organic

Do you like to take responsibility for the environment, animals and your own health? Then you should definitely buy organic hazelnuts. They usually cost a little more, but you also get better quality.

Roasting

When buying hazelnuts, you can choose between roasted and unroasted hazelnuts. If you want to buy and enjoy them for their vitamins and healthy fats, you should prefer non-roasted nuts.

However, roasting or heating the nuts has a good effect on some of the ingredients, making it easier to absorb the minerals, for example.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about hazelnuts answered in detail

The following section is intended to answer the most important questions about hazelnuts. We have selected the most frequently asked questions and answered them in just a few lines.

What are hazelnuts and what varieties are there?

The hazelnut is the nut of the hazel tree. You can enjoy them as a delicious snack or use them to complement many dishes. If you include them in a balanced diet, the nuts also offer several health benefits, which we explain in the next section.

There are many different types of hazelnuts around the world, including in Europe, Asia and North America. However, the two most well-known types include the cellular nut and the lambert nut. There are also a few other species, but they are more insignificant. These include, for example, the tree hazel (Corylus colurna) and also the Japanese hazelnut.

What do hazelnuts contain?

Although hazelnuts are high in calories, they have a great nutritional profile. They contain about 644 kilocalories per 100 grams, but this is due to their relatively high fat content. The fats they contain are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats.

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Hazelnuts are healthy and can easily be integrated into the diet. (Image source: Jocelyn Morales / unsplash)

Furthermore, the nuts consist of about 12 percent protein. It also contains a lot of vitamin E, which plays an essential role in maintaining healthy skin, nails and hair and can also protect against cognitive decline, inflammation and fatty liver disease.

Hazelnuts also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and vitamin B. Therefore, they support good heart health, can reduce the risk of cancer and support muscle, skin, bone, joint and digestive health.

How healthy are hazelnuts?

In addition to the previously mentioned health benefits, hazelnuts can also help lower blood lipids, regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a healthy and delicious source of nutrients that can easily be incorporated into your diet.

How do I crush hazelnuts?

To crush your hazelnuts, it's best to use a nut mill. You can use it to grind the nuts coarsely or finely. Alternatively, you can also use a blender or nut cracker.

If you don't have one of these at hand, you can also use simple home remedies. A meat mallet or rolling pin is particularly suitable for this. Simply put the nuts in a freezer bag and roll or pound them until you have reached your preferred size.

How do I roast hazelnuts?

No matter what you end up doing with your hazelnuts, roasting them will automatically give them more flavour. The extra time is definitely worth it, especially because you can do it in advance.

If you want to roast a large amount of hazelnuts, it's usually easier to roast them in the oven. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and spread the hazelnuts evenly on a baking tray.

Roast the hazelnuts for about ten minutes until they are aromatic and lightly toasted and the shells start to crack. Then place the hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and gently rub them together if you want to enjoy the shelled hazelnuts.

If it's a small portion, we recommend you roast them in a pan. The key is to only remove the hazelnuts from the heat once they smell nutty and fragrant. This will ensure that the hazelnuts are not under-roasted, but also that they don't burn.

Conclusion

Hazelnuts are perfect as a snack between meals. You can also add them to salads or other delicious dishes. Hazelnuts are also packed with good nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and especially healthy fats. For this reason, they have quite a few health benefits. Among other things, they help lower blood fat levels and regulate blood pressure.

All in all, hazelnuts are an excellent and delicious source of nutrients that can easily be incorporated into your diet.

(Cover photo: engin akyurt / unsplash)

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