Pine nuts are the best option whether you want to eat them as a snack or garnish your favorite salad. It is so delicious that we cannot stop ourselves from having more of it. So today, let us explore some good pine nut substitutes.
If you plan to make some pesto, you need pine nuts. But what to do if you don’t have any in hand? In such a situation, look for a good pine nut substitute.
Pine nuts are so delicious that it is hard to manage their flavor. However, some ingredients can almost mimic its taste. Cashew, pistachio, almonds, walnut, hazelnut, pecans, and macadamia seeds are some of the best pine nut substitutes.
Before going to substitute, let’s look at the pine nut itself. If you are new to this ingredient, this section will help you know it better.
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Quick Peek: Pine Nut
This section contains all of the information on pine nuts that you require. You’ll also learn about the ingredient’s flavor and texture profile, as well as its uses and nutritional facts. So, let’s start.
What Is Pine Nut?
Pine nuts are also called pignoli or pinon nuts. Pine nuts are the seeds of the pine plant. The pine nuts we eat are usually harvested from stone pine or pinyon pines as they produce these nuts in huge quantities.
Pine nuts are a common ingredient in people’s diets. It is also the main ingredient in pestos. However, regardless of their taste and nutritious value, pine nuts are not something everyone can have as it’s a very pricy ingredient.
Describing Pine Nut: Flavor And Texture
Pine nuts are small and brown and look a lot like peanuts, but not exactly. They have a delicious buttery taste with an underlying sweetness. Some pine nuts even have a resinous pine-like flavor.
But one has to be careful when it comes to eating pine nuts. Some people will have a different mouth feel when they eat pine nuts. Occasionally people feel bitter or metallic in their mouth after eating pine nuts.
This could be caused by the rand acids present in pine nuts. The worst part about this is that this awful taste could last even up to two days in one’s mouth.
Uses Of Pine Nut
Pine nuts can be used in multiple ways with their crunchy texture and intense flavor. Pine nuts are the main ingredients when it comes to making pesto. Pine nuts can also be used as a salad dressing.
Pine nuts also go very well with savory dishes. You can easily add some pine nuts to any gravies or curries for a crunch. To get the best flavor, just roast the pine nuts before adding them to anything.
Pine Nuts On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
When it comes to our health, pine nuts are a good choice. They have many vital nutrients and proteins that are crucial to our health. Just tiny seeds are also a great source of energy for you.
Pine nuts are a good source of pinolenic acids. These acids are good for controlling the bad cholesterol in our bodies. Thus by including pine nuts in our diet, we can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Pine nuts also help in controlling blood sugar. A recent study found that consuming 56g of pine nuts daily can help reduce the sugar level in our bodies.
On top of all this, pine nuts are a good source of omega -3. This helps in the functioning of the brain. Including pine nuts can reduce the risk of having dementia and other neuro-related diseases.
Why Use A Substitute For Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts are multipurpose nuts with numerous health and culinary benefits. So, why should we be concerned about its alternatives? This is primarily due to the fact that these are fairly costly!
Because pine nuts are difficult to cultivate and harvest, they are pricey. They are also in high demand; therefore, it is understandable that stores may run out of these nuts at times. Finding the best pine nut substitutes is therefore critical.
Also, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could achieve the pine nut flavor without actually using pine nuts? This is accomplished mostly through the use of a number of alternatives. You can always find an appropriate pine nut substitute from the list presented in this article.
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12 Best Pine Nut Substitutes
This section has all the best substitutes you could use in place of pine nuts. Moreover, you will also get to understand how to use each substitute.
Cashews have a mild sweet taste and crunchy texture. It also has a similar appearance to pine nuts and can be used as a pine nut substitute in various dishes.
Cashews, just like pine nuts, have multiple health benefits. It can also be used in sweet and savory dishes. It can be used in raw or roasted form. Even though cashews are expensive, they aren’t as pricey as pine nuts.
Cashews work best as a pine nut substitute in pestos. While adding cashews to pestos, roast them a little to get the best nutty flavor. Roasted cashews will have a similar nutty flavor to that of pine nuts.
Pistachios are another great pine nut substitute. They have an extremely nutty flavor with a mild taste.
Pistachios often come in green color and are bigger in size when compared to pine nuts. It is also a widely used culinary ingredient and can be found easily in your nearby supermarkets.
Pistachios are a great pine nut substitute as they add flavor and vibrant color to your dishes.
Almonds have a sweet taste and crunchy and chewy texture. They can be used as an amazing pine nut substitute in various dishes.
Almonds are primarily of two types – raw and bitter. Sweet almonds are the ones we get in the store, and that’s what I’m referring to as a pine nut substitute. It is one of the easily available pine nut substitutes.
Even though they are sweeter than pine nuts, They can be used as a pine nut dish in almost all dishes.
Walnuts are brown, and their outer covering has a slightly bitter taste. However, the inside portion has a nutty taste similar to that of pine nuts. Hence, some dishes can be used as a pine nut substitute.
If you are considering using walnut as a pine nut substitute, it is advisable to remove its outer skin as it’s bitter. You can either remove it by soaking it or by roasting it.
Walnuts as a pine nut substitute taste best when soaked and ground. Overnight soaked and ground walnuts will have a flavor similar to that of pine nuts.
5. Hazel Nuts
Hazel nuts have a very sharp taste and nutty flavor. Its skin, just like walnuts, has a bitter taste. However, if the outer skin is removed, it can be used as a pine nut substitute.
Hazelnuts can be used as a pine nut substitute, especially in sweet dishes. If you are cooking something with chocolate, use the hazel nut as a pine nut substitute over anything else.
Pecan is one of the healthiest pine nut substitutes. They are packed with vital minerals and nutrients, just like pine nuts. Therefore it can be easily swapped as a pine nut substitute.
Pecan is a little sweeter than pine nuts. However, it can be used as a pine nut substitute in various dishes, including salad dressing and sweet dishes. It is ideal for roasting the pecan a little to get its best flavor profile.
7. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts have a very intricate flavor profile. It is extremely buttery in taste and can be used as a pine nut substitute in various dishes.
Macadamia nuts look so much like hazelnuts in their appearance. With its creamy and buttery flavor, macadamia nuts are undoubtedly the best fit as a pine nut substitute.
However, they are hard to find and harder to afford, considering their price range.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are one of the most inexpensive pine nut substitutes. It has a fine nutty flavor and is a great pine nut substitute.
It is advisable to use only the inner part of the sunflower seed as a pine nut substitute as the outer covering is quite hard to chew. This might affect the overall taste of the dish in a negative manner.
But separating the outer and inner portions from the sunflower seed is quite hard. Therefore we can say that it is not an option for a great pine nut substitute.
9. White Beans
White beans is an umbrella term including different beans from the legume family. That isn’t similar in flavor to that of pine nuts. However, considering the national values, they are great pine nut substitutes.
White beans can be used as a pine nut substitute in a variety of dishes. However, they might not go well with sweet dishes. They can be easily swapped as a pine nut substitute in salad dressings and curries.
Edamame nuts are sweet with a hint of buttery taste. It can be used as a pine nut substitute in both raw and roast form.
Edamame nuts are very nutritious, just like pine nuts. With its buttery taste and crunchy texture, edamame can be used in sweet and savory dishes like pine nuts.
11. Brazil Nut
Brazil nuts have a delicious buttery taste and crunch texture. They are similar to pine nuts in flavor profile and can be considered a pine nut substitute.
Brazil nuts are larger in size when compared to pine nuts. Hence to use them in a pine nut recipe, it will be good to crush them a little. Like all other options we explored, they can be swapped as a pine nut substitute in sweet and savory dishes.
Peanuts are one of the most readily available and cheapest pine nut substitutes. It has a sweet taste with a hint of nutty taste and can be used in every dish that demands pine nuts.
You can use raw peanut or roasted peanut as a substitute for pine nuts. However, always refrain from using a salted peanut as a pie nut substitute as it may affect the flavor of your dish.
However, peanuts are not great pine nut substitutes in pestos. But you can use peanuts in cakes, cookies, or salads as a substitute for pine nuts.
Short Recap Of The Best Pine Nut Substitutes
Are you still undecided about which of these alternatives to pick? Don’t worry; here’s a little recap that might help you get out of this tough spot.
Best Pine Nut Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture –
Best Pine Nut Substitutes That For Pesto –
Best Pine Nut Substitutes Should Be Least Considered –
- White Beans
- Sunflower seeds
How To Substitute Pine Nuts In A Recipe
Pine Nut Substitutes
- Hazel nut
- Macadamia Nuts
- Sunflower Seed
- White Beans
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Pine nuts have a distinctive flavor and texture. When an ingredient is missing from a recipe, the dish may taste unfinished. The flavor of pine nuts adds a punch to the dish. The substitutions listed are the best pine nut substitutes. They have a flavor and texture that is comparable to pine nuts.
So pull your spatula out and start cooking! Please share your culinary experiences with these replacements in the comments section below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What nuts can you substitute for pine nuts in pesto?
Cashew, almonds, and pistachio are some of the best pine nut substitutes in pestos.
What tastes similar to pine nuts?
Cashew, pistachio, almonds, walnut, hazelnut, pecans, and macadamia seeds are some of the best pine nut substitutes.
Why do pine nuts taste fishy?
Sometimes pine nuts have a bad taste due to their rancid presence in them.
Are pine nuts healthy?
Pine nuts are extremely healthy. They are a great source of different vital minerals and nutrients like magnesium iron, and Zinc.
How long can we keep pine nuts in the fridge?
Pine nuts will last up to three months in the fridge.