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Please.....Don't skin or blanch your nuts!

g
ggaylmer Jan 30, 2012 05:13 AM

The skins of nuts contain lots of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They also add texture and flavor to the nuts and to nut butters. The 'brown' on pistachios is dark red anthocyanins, potent ant-oxidants also found in peanut skins, especially redskin peanuts(as well as in blueberries and other red/purple/blue/black fruits etc......What? You skin your peanuts too?!). You're throwing away a lot of the goodness and wasting time needlessly. ....it's like refining wholewheat flour to white flour or brown rice to white rice. You end up with rubbish that looks pure and white on a plate......not a healthy product. Like Frank Sinatra's song..."All or nothing at all...."

  1. kaleokahu Jan 30, 2012 08:00 AM

    Ow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu
      Tripeler Feb 1, 2012 12:22 AM

      First thing I thought of, too.

      1. re: Tripeler
        TheHuntress Feb 1, 2012 02:34 AM

        Me too.

    2. w
      Wawsanham Feb 1, 2012 12:02 PM

      I agree completely. I grew up with and still always eat unblanched (unskinned?) almonds. About a year ago I saw blanched almonds in a German supermarket. It looked really weird to me--I'd never seen anything like it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Wawsanham
        g
        ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 04:45 AM

        They look weird to me too. Like polished white rice!

      2. mamachef Feb 1, 2012 12:58 PM

        'Fraid I've got to keep blanching and/or skinning..........I mainly use nuts in baking, and I really really hate when the nut skins get caught in my throat like hair.

        6 Replies
        1. re: mamachef
          gingershelley Feb 1, 2012 02:32 PM

          +1... hate that 'catchy' feeling. And I don't like the skins papery quality either.

          1. re: mamachef
            TheHuntress Feb 1, 2012 05:04 PM

            I don't mind my nuts with skins on in baking, etc., but sometimes when I want to roast them I don't want the bitter, burnt skins.

            1. re: TheHuntress
              g
              ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 04:20 AM

              Point taken. I roast peanuts at 300F for 25 minutes as a single layer of nuts in the oven. This is a lot lower temperature than often quoted. At that temperature the skins dont' appear to burn. What temperature do you use?

              1. re: ggaylmer
                TheHuntress Feb 4, 2012 10:52 PM

                Well I only have one recipe that I really use often that requires the skins removed. It's a roast parsnip and pear salad and due to other ingredients and how the salad is made the hazelnuts need to go in no lower than 180c (370f) and preferably at 200c (390f). So I toast the nuts in the pan first and then rub them with a clean tea towel to remove the skins, before putting them into the oven. I actually don't mind the skins at all and am more than happy to eat them, but there are occasions they need to be removed.

                1. re: TheHuntress
                  g
                  ggaylmer Feb 5, 2012 10:49 AM

                  I wouldn't argue there...I'd hate to get too dogmatic about things. There are already far too many extremists in the world today. There are those raw-foodists who believe that cooking or heating any food renders it unfit for human consumption by destroying its natural enzymes.
                  I was never taught anything about food or cooking at school. I approach cooking purely from a nutritional perspective and automatically alter most recipes I find to suit my own principles and ideas. I can't abide these toffee-nosed chefs who studied under such and such a French master and are more concerned with the look and presentation of food than its nutritional benefit, e.g. building architecture on your plate and charging you a fortune. However, thank goodness we are all different otherwise life would be boring!

            2. re: mamachef
              g
              ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 04:33 AM

              I've never found that problem with ground up raw nuts, though I have sometimes noticed it with whole roast peanuts in their skins for example.

            3. f
              freia Feb 1, 2012 02:37 PM

              I wonder how many pounds of peanuts you'd need to eat with the skins on to get any sort of clinical benefit from the skins?

              1 Reply
              1. re: freia
                g
                ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 05:24 AM

                I can't vouch for any clinical benefit of peanuts, but it's surprising how much nutrients, minerals, vitamins and fiber is lost, for example, when refining wholewheat flour to white flour, despite a fairly small fraction by weight being taken away. Compare the fiber content of these flours: Approx. 10.7%(wholewheat) against 2.4%(white). See USDA link:

                http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list

                Fiber is something that is lower than optimal in the average diet and, according to doctors, can help guard against weight gain, diabetes and cancer.

              2. EWSflash Feb 1, 2012 07:57 PM

                I must admit, the title caught my eye.

                1. EWSflash Feb 1, 2012 08:10 PM

                  It may be a throwback from the '60s and '70s, but I rarely peel or skin anything, since most of the nutrients are right under the skin as a rule So blanched almonds look way too naked to me, I love peanut skins except when they cover one of my teeth and make me look like a goober, so to speak, if i'm cooking carrots I removed the skins but raw I leave them on, whoops, getting off-topic. I think that part of God's culinary gifts to us are the ever-so-nutritious skins of fruits and vegetables. I nearly shit when i saw my sis-in-law peeling apples for her kids on a family vacation- the peels are so good! And the youngest is six, it's not like they don't have teeth yet!

                  By the damn way, there is nothing wrong with white rice, it is an awesome thing, especially if you foray into brown rice and wild rice (I know, I know) sometimes.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: EWSflash
                    g
                    ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 04:10 AM

                    I'm with you there. I haven't peeled a potato or cooking apple in years......just scrub clean. The skins add texture and flavor as well as vitamins. I also prefer home made french fries with the skin on. Some fruits and vegetables obviously have to be peeled if they are indigestible or astringent. Probably best to recycle these in the compost, though citrus fruit peel could be candied I guess. Unless you're a goat you can't eat pomegranate peel raw, but it actually contains even more anti-oxidant than the fruit and juice inside.....pomegranate supplements are generally obtained from the peel, so I don't like to waste them. Pomegranates are very expensive in the UK where I live, so I cut up the peel finely and dry it in a fan oven at about 150F for an hour or two; then grind in a coffee grinder to a powder and add to cereal. It might add a minute or two to my three score and ten but admittedly takes longer than that to do!

                  2. c
                    Chef Bwana Feb 1, 2012 08:22 PM

                    If you were living in the woods, subsisting on nuts, this would be sound advice. For most people in modern civilization, the need to maximize nutrients is far less pressing. I somehow doubt a large scale study comparing those who blanche and peel, vs those who don't, would reveal any meaningful differences in overall health. And don't you mean "I've Got You Under My Skin"?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Chef Bwana
                      g
                      ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 03:21 AM

                      Nice one.......I never thought of that song!

                    2. r
                      Roland Parker Feb 1, 2012 11:02 PM

                      If eating raw I'll usually leave the skins on, unless they came preskinned and presalted.

                      But as with mamachef, when it comes to baking or making pastries peeling nuts especially almonds and hazelnuts is important to the overall taste and texture of the final product. I use ground blanched almonds quite often.

                      Anyhow, I get enough nutrients from other sources...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Roland Parker
                        sunshine842 Feb 1, 2012 11:07 PM

                        not to mention the looks -- pastries made with unskinned almonds and hazelnuts look dirty and unpleasant.

                        1. re: Roland Parker
                          g
                          ggaylmer Feb 4, 2012 04:37 AM

                          Ground almonds with skins does have a brown speckled look but then I cook with wholemeal flour which is also brown and speckled! I guess almonds in skins would not match white flour.

                          1. re: ggaylmer
                            sunshine842 Feb 4, 2012 06:39 AM

                            it all depends on what you're making.

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