It is time to celebrate Hazelnuts! They are a fantastically nutritious and versatile nut, and can be used in a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes. And of course, they do pair wonderfully well with chocolate! Here are some interesting and entertaining facts about hazelnuts you may not know…
- Hazelnuts are a fantastic source of anti-oxidants, especially vitamin E.
- They also contain high concentrations of a particular type of antioxidants called proanthocyanidins (PACs) which have been shown to have a higher level of antioxidant activity than even vitamin E.
- They are also very high in Manganese, which is key to the function of antioxidants, and Magnesium.
- In areas of Europe where hazel trees are native, they were seen as magical trees. A hazel rod would protect against evil spirits, as well as being used for wands and water divining.
- In Ireland the hazel tree was the “Tree of Knowledge”.
- Hazel trees are very unusual in that they have separate trees for male and female flowers. They would also be one of the first indicators that spring is coming (I speak from experience on this one 🙂 )
Hazelnuts and chocolate are such a perfect pairing – so I cannot resist the temptation of making delicious and nutritious bliss balls that show off both the hazelnuts and the chocolate so wonderfully!
These are made from combining two recipes from cupfulofkale and walderwellness. I love adding nut butter to bliss balls – it seems to make them smoother and creamier and generally more indulgent – even though you don’t compromise on nutrition at all. I recommend making these ones with the hazelnut butter, but you can of course use any one – they all work and taste great!
1 + 1/4 cup Totally Nuts hazelnuts
2 tbsp Totally Nuts nut butter
2 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp hemp seeds **
1/2 tbsp honey/maple syrup
** Gold Coast nutters can get our activated hemp seeds at Miami market. We will have them available in our webstore soon…
1. Blitz the 1 cup hazelnuts into a coarse meal in a food processor.
2. Add dates and blitz again.
3. Add hemp and cacao and blitz some more.
4. Add honey/maple and nut butter and process again until well combined.
5. Blitz the remaining hazelnuts in the food processor.
6. Shape into balls and press into the remaining hazelnut meal (or leave without the coating if you have small children – otherwise you end up with chopped nuts all over the floor. I speak from experience!)