Hazelnuts are a popular ingredient in many baked goods and savory dishes, adding a rich, nutty flavor and satisfying crunch. Whether you're allergic to hazelnuts, can't find them at your local store, or simply want to try something new, there are several excellent substitutes to choose from. In this article, we'll take a look at the best options, so you can continue to enjoy all your favorite hazelnut-infused recipes.
Characteristics of Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are known for their unique, slightly sweet and bitter flavor profile, making them an ideal ingredient for both sweet and savory recipes. They also offer a crunchy texture that adds an extra layer of texture to your baked goods. Hazelnuts are also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.
What's the Best Substitute for Hazelnuts?
When it comes to finding a substitute for hazelnuts, there are several options to choose from, each with its own unique flavor and texture profile. Here are six of the best hazelnuts substitutes:
Almonds have a slightly sweeter flavor than hazelnuts and offer a similar crunchy texture. They're an excellent choice for adding nuttiness to baked goods, as well as providing a tasty base for nut butters.
Pecans have a sweet, buttery flavor that's perfect for sweet baked goods, such as cakes and cookies. They offer a softer texture than hazelnuts, making them ideal for pies and other baked dishes.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts have a creamy, rich flavor that's similar to hazelnuts. They're slightly sweeter than hazelnuts, making them a great choice for sweet recipes.
Walnuts have a slightly bitter flavor that works well in savory dishes, such as pesto and roasted meats. They offer a soft, crunchy texture that's similar to hazelnuts, making them an excellent substitute in baked goods.
Cashews are a popular substitute for hazelnuts, offering a similar texture and rich, nutty flavor. Cashews have a creamy, buttery texture that can be used in sweet and savory dishes, making them a versatile option in the kitchen.
Pistachios have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor that's perfect for sweet baked goods. They offer a crunchy texture that's similar to hazelnuts, making them an excellent choice for adding crunch to your recipes.
How to Use the Substitutes in Cooking and Baking
Once you've chosen your substitute for hazelnuts, it's time to put it to use in your cooking and baking. Here are some tips to help you get started:
When baking, simply substitute the same amount of your chosen substitute for the hazelnuts called for in the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of hazelnuts, you can use 1 cup of almonds, pecans, or another nut instead.
If using your substitute in a savory dish, such as a pesto or roasted meat, consider adjusting the amount to suit your taste. For example, if you find that walnuts have a slightly bitter flavor, you may want to use a smaller amount.
Incorporating the substitute into recipes
To incorporate your substitute into a recipe, you can chop, grind, or leave them whole, depending on the desired texture. For example, chopped almonds work well in cookie recipes, while ground pecans are perfect for pie crusts.
In conclusion, finding a substitute for hazelnuts doesn't have to be a challenge. With so many delicious options to choose from, you can continue to enjoy all your favorite hazelnut-infused recipes, even if you can't find hazelnuts or prefer to use a different nut.
Whether you choose almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pistachios, you're sure to find a substitute that will add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your dishes. So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen, and try out different hazelnuts substitutes in your favorite recipes!
Say hello to Jessica "Jess" Ainsley, a 30-something food blogger and freelance copywriter based in the West Coast. With a passion for all things related to food and cooking, Jessica spends her days testing out new recipes and sharing her culinary adventures on her popular blog.