I guess I have been living under a rock because I’ve never heard of Brazil nuts. I tried them at my sister in-law’s home last weekend during the LSU game. This large, creamy, buttery tasting nut is delicious…and almost addictive!
As with anything new to me…I did a little reading to learn more. I learned that they are one amazing “little” big nut, produced by the Bertholletia excelsa, a tree that grows up to 150 feet in the South American rainforest.
They not only taste amazing…but they are rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, protein, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, fiber, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
I read that one Brazil nut has more than a days worth of selenium, so take caution if that’s a concern. Also, they are high in polyunsaturated fats, so although it’s a “good” fat, do not go crazy. A 1 oz serving is just six nuts!
A few of the sources I read cautioned that due to the high selenium and fat content, eat them no more than 2-3x per week. They also reminded readers that this is a nut, so take normal precautions if allergies are a concern.
So, what are my ideas for this super nutrient packed little beauty? I plan to try them chopped and added to salads and steel cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries and apples. I also have plans to use them in trail mix recipes with bits of organic coconut flakes and fair trade, organic dark chocolate. They would be perfect in it breads, cookies and other desserts that call for nuts. I bet a Brazil nut butter would also be amazing.
I found these shelled, certified organic ones in the dry bulk section at my local Whole Foods. Once shelled however, they should be eaten in a relatively short period of time because they can quickly become rancid. Storing in a tightly sealed container in a cool dry place such as a refrigerator is the best option.
If you really love them and want to buy more than a tiny bowlful at a time, buy them unshelled; store in the freezer and shell as needed.
Have you tried them? Tell us your favorite ways to incorporate this might nut into your culinary delights.
XOXO, Hope Maria
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