The Healthy and Nutritious Hazelnut
Hazelnuts are about as close as you can get to the perfect food! They’re:
- One of the best nuts for high antioxidant content
- Rich in vitamins including Vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B12, E, and folate
- A provider of minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and potassium
- Abundant in healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats
- A source of fibre, calcium and protein.
Specific Health Benefits
A handful of nuts every day is said to be ideal for your diet as they have numerous health benefits. Hazelnuts in particular are said to help with the management of blood glucose and cholesterol levels, assist with weight loss and possibly even help reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Hazelnut meal is a great gluten-free alternative to wheat flour for those with coeliac disease. We leave the skin on when processing our hazelnut meal, which adds a dose of fibre that is often much needed in a gluten-free diet.
Of course, hazelnuts are also a popular choice for vegans, vegetarians and those on a Paleo diet.
The National Health & Medical Research Council has endorsed the inclusion of nuts in the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) under the protein group. Raw hazelnuts also score a full five out of five stars on the Australian Government’s health star rating system.
The Hazelnut Market
The hazelnut, or filbert or cobnut as it is known in some parts of Europe, was once the dominant species of vegetation over much of northern Europe. Turkey and Italy now dominate world production, producing 70% of the world’s supply. Although Australia imports over 2,000 tonnes to fill the market, there has lately been a growing demand for fresh local hazelnuts due to their superior flavour and nutrition.
Freshly Cracked is Best
The market for hazelnuts is divided into two segments – the kernel market (that is, cracked out and ready to eat) and the in-shell market (mostly smaller nuts for the confectionary industry, such as chocolate).
Kernels have a broad range of uses, from eating raw to roasted, ground into hazelnut meal, sliced, chopped, diced, or ground into flour or paste. They are by far the most popular choice from our product range because of their convenience. Once cracked, the kernel is exposed to fluctuating temperatures, moisture and light, which all affect taste and nutritional value. For this reason we recommend you store your hazelnuts correctly and enjoy them within six months for the best results.
Unfortunately, many people have become accustomed to the taste of nuts cracked and stored well past their ideal freshness. Rest assured we crack to order, to bring you the freshest and most nutritious hazelnuts possible!