Are you going nuts yet? Only a few more days before Christmas. My house is a buzz with anxious adults and strung out kids. They are way too excited this year. The two year old is figuring things out pretty fast and the 8 year old is keeping her promise to not sleep much until Christmas day. Send wine!
Our family eats a lot of nuts. Even as a kid, I loved nuts. One memory I have from my childhood are the bowls of nuts my grandparents had sitting around their home during the Christmas season. They had the nut crackers and those thin picks. Oh the piles of shells. They were everywhere. The grown ups from my childhood didn't know how to get up and throw the piles of shells away. I guess the Elf on the Shelf did that.
I tried the whole nut thing with my family and they did not care for it. Honestly I think it was too messy for their liking. It's kind of like eating crab. My kids love it as long as I pick the meat out for them. LOL
This is how we do holiday nuts in our house. I have been toasting my own nuts for about 5 years. The process is simple and I don't get too fancy but you can if you like. I use my cast iron pans because it evenly heats the whole pan and they just turn out better each time I make them than when I use any other pan.
I buy my nuts raw and in a 25 pound bag. I store them in the freezer. It takes us about 4-6 months to use them up and I find that they may go bad if I keep them in a drawer. I toast them from a frozen state and have not had any problems with them turning out.
I use vegetable oil because olive oil can be too strong for my family and their taste buds. I use flake salt to season them with after toasting. I store them in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. Honestly they rarely go this long because we add them to almost all of our salads and curry's.
If I had to describe a toasted cashew it would be nutty creaminess. The combination of the toasted outside combined with the sweet center is the perfect snack in my opinion.
2 cups of raw cashews, whole or halved
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt to taste
1. Preheat a cast iron pan and add oil. Heat oil and toss cashews in. Stir with a wooden spoon until nuts are brown on both sides. Remove from heat to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
NOTE: Nuts will firm up once they are cool.