11 Jun 2009

Pine Nut.....Nut or Seed?

A pine nut, although looked on as a nut in the culinary sense, is actually a seed.

For thousands of years, pine nuts have been extracted from pine cones and eaten wherever pine trees (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus) grow. From the Romans to the Native American tribes like the Washo and the Shoshone, they have been a popular food. They have a delicate, nutty flavour and are also known as pine seeds, pine kernals, pinon and pinoli.

Pine nuts have a high protein content and with their excellent unsaturated fat content, satisfy the appetite. This high protein source makes them a favourite of Vegans everywhere. Although excellent for dieters they should be eaten in moderation due to their high oil content which is around 50%. Pine nuts also contain vitamins A and B (thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin), folic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and are a rich source of amino acids.

They are excellent for cardiovascular health as they contain oleic acid which helps to eliminate triglycerides. Pine nuts are said to alleviate morning sickness in pregnancy. They are also believed to be an appetite suppressant due to a hormone called cholecystokinin and pinolenic acid, both of which they contain.

The high oil content makes pine nuts turn rancid quickly so it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen. Great to eat as they are, in home-made pesto and in vegetable dishes. Enjoy!


Yummy Vegan Pesto Classico
From All Recipes
This is a classic recipe I use and love. Nutritional yeast is substituted for the traditionally used dairy. Tasty on pasta, bread, sandwiches, omelets, etc. Try adding sun-dried tomato slices post-completion for an added boost of rich flavor. It also freezes beautifully. ~ CANDIEDVIOLET

1/3 cup / 45g pine nuts
2/3 cup / 160ml olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup / 40g nutritional yeast
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. Gradually mix the pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and basil in a food processor, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Raw Sweet Potato Salad
From Karen the Raw Food Coach's Newsletter
If you're like me - a former potato-holic AND you love traditional potato salad, then you will adore this recipe. Before you start worrying about chowing down raw potato - don't panic! We are using SWEET potatoes here, a very different animal (so to speak!), which make for a very delicious, satiating and more-ish recipe that you'll want to print off and use over and over again. And even if you don't like sweet potatoes, just the mayo recipe alone is worth having as it's totally delicious and versatile. ~ Karen

1 large sweet potato
1 bunch spring onions (green onions)
1 handful of fresh chives

For the Mayo
1 cup water
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup pine nuts
1 ½ cups cashew nuts
½ tsp Himalayan crystal salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps lemon juice

Chop the sweet potato into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Finely slice the chives and spring onion and add to the potato pieces, stirring around to mix things up. Prepare the mayo by blending all of the mayo ingredients in a blender or food processor (makes 4 cups). Add the mayo to your potatoes stirring in as you go. Stop adding when you feel your potato salad is gloopy enough! Save the extra mayo in the fridge - it will keep for about 5 days. Enjoy your potato salad on its own or served with a big juicy salad. Makes a great main meal side dish or a quick snack if you want something grounding but filling. Let me know how you like it!
RAW COACH'S TOP TIPS: Add in any other fresh herbs, garlic, fresh chopped onion or even curry powder for something a little bit different. Use the mayo for combining with freshly grated carrot cabbage and onion to make a fab coleslaw!

Quinoa, Corn, Pine Nut and Zucchini Medley
From the Vegetarian Times
The nice thing about using quinoa, in this tabbouleh-style salad is that it doesn’t soak up all the dressing and dry out over time.

Quinoa Medley
1 cup quinoa
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 medium zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
4 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsps chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup pine nuts

3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps orange juice
1 tbsps lemon juice
1/4 tsp grated orange zest

To make Quinoa Medley: Bring 2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir in quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and opaque and liquid is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes, then transfer to large bowl. Fluff with a fork, and cool. Fold corn, zucchini, green onions, cilantro and mint into quinoa. To make Dressing: Whisk together oil, orange juice, lemon juice and orange zest in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture, and toss well. Sprinkle with pine nuts, garnish with mint sprigs, if desired, and serve at room temperature. Serves 6

Dandelion Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Pine Nuts, and Roasted Delicata Squash
Adapted from Bon Appetit

6 tbsps pomegranate juice
1 1/2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 unpeeled medium delicata squash or 1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded, cut into 24 wedges total
1 lb / 1/2 kg dandelion greens, thick stems trimmed, leaves cut into 2-inch lengths (about 12 cups)
1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Whisk pomegranate juice and vinegars in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Re-whisk before using. Browned squash wedges, on both sides, in pan with a little heated olive oil. on both sides. Transfer squash wedges to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Transfer squash to oven; bake 20 minutes. Mix greens, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts in large bowl. Toss with half of dressing. Divide among plates; top with squash. Drizzle with dressing. Makes 8 servings.

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Mihl said...

Pine nuts are such a fantastic food! I couldn't get enough of them when I made my first pesto with pine nuts and not with cashews like I used to. I love them lightly toasted in salads too.

aTxVegn said...

Once again you've rounded up some fantastic recipes. I've seen the raw potatoes in a few recipes and it seems a little scary, but I would actually like to try this recipe!

Mike Foster said...

I love the taste of pine nuts, but don't eat them hardly enough. I am always looking for good sources of veggie protein and healthy fats.


nicole M said...

amazing recipies - im trying to go vegan so obviously it helps alot when you can find recipes that actually make you want to do so, merci!

Dara said...

I love the quinoa recipe. That would be a great addition to a whole grain diet.

urban vegan said...

I love pine nuts. Just bought some hummus that has pine nuts floating in it--yummy.

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