Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Naturally Gluten Free Nuts

assorted nuts
An Assortment
I've never had a problem with nuts since being gluten free but I know that others have had cross contamination issues. Plain, non flavoured nuts are naturally gluten free but of course there's always the chance of gluten being in the factory process from some other product. I haven't ever encountered that myself but there's a really simple solution for those who have or are worried by it; buy nuts in their shells, naturally gluten free and no risk of cross contamination.

If only more foods came in shells, a natural protective layer that means whatever is inside is safe. I've always been a big fan of shellfish but these days I really appreciate what those shells mean to me, they're keeping gluten out and the goodness in.

Same with the nuts and at this time of year you see loads of bags of them in supermarkets but after Christmas is over they disappear, aside of Monkey Nuts, you can always find those to buy. Others such as Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Brazil Nuts etc are a little harder to find, but they're always available on Amazon where you're likely to pay less than you would in a supermarket and certainly less than in a health food store.

If you want to check out the selections see UK / US

When cracking nuts you need a good nutcracker, let me give an example of the good and the bad.

Spot The Problem?
nut crackers
Nutcracker For Giant Nuts
As you can see, the nutcracker on the left is fully closed together but the sides aren't touching the nuts. Very useful. Thankfully the nutcracker on the right works perfectly although it is a bit boring looking unlike this and this. I do like funky kitchen things.

So yes, nuts in shells are totally gluten free and not to mention a healthy snack. I think there's something incredibly comforting about cosying up on the sofa, cracking open the shells and making a mess, lovely flavours too. One of my most favourite nuts are Chestnuts, perfect for a cold Winters night and inevitable that burnt fingers will be experienced. Unless you're sensible and let them cool before you go in for the peel, I'm far too impatient for such behaviour.

The photo at the top of this post may just look like a load of nuts in a bag but what you aren't seeing is the big floofy head that kept photobombing. The Persian has a mania for sniffing them and getting that shot was a task. I could have a fishmongers worth of stock on the floor and she wouldn't take a bit of notice, a bag of mixed nuts and she's crazy for them.

With Christmas fast approaching I've lowered my lunch expectations this year, no seafood platter I'm just hoping for a big fat crab on a plate and necessary tools. We'll see.

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