How to Roast Pinon Nuts - the easy way

How to Roast Pinon Nuts (the EASY Way)

From New Mexico and several surrounding states, Pinon Nuts are a tasty nut that can be eaten raw, but are much more flavorful when roasted. The delicious smell of these nuts as they roast in the oven is such a classic Fall aroma that cooking Pinon nuts makes me look even more forward to the time of the year when the leaves begin to change and the temperatures begin to cool.

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Many of you may be familiar with roasting chestnuts or toasting almonds, but may very well be wondering, “How, exactly, DO You Roast Pinon Nuts?”

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Well the good news is that it is very easy to do and I will explain step-by-step the best way to cook these little known, but oh-so-delicious nuts!

What Are Pinon Nuts

Pinon nuts are a type of seed that grow in the cones of Pinon trees. Commonly found in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, Pinon trees are similar to small pine trees. However the nuts are harvested very infrequently – sometimes only once every 3 – 7 years. This makes Pinon nuts more scarce and more expensive than your typical pine nuts.

How to Roast Pinon Nuts

Start by preparing the nuts for roasting.

  • Rinse a large group of nuts in a big bowl of warm water
  • Drain water from bowl or remove nuts and place on dry paper towels to absorb the excess water
  • Pre-heat Oven to 325 degrees
  • Leave the nuts IN their shells and spread them out on a large baking sheet
  • Roast the pinon nuts at 325 degrees for 12 minutes (time varies depending on oven strength and moisture in nuts), while checking them frequently
  • Since pinon nuts burn very easily, you may want to mix them slightly every 2 – 3 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes

How to Roast Pinon Nuts

How Do You Eat Roasted Pinon Nuts?

First you remove the nuts from their shells by doing the following:

Once the nuts have sufficiently cooled, dump the nuts into a large plastic or Ziploc bag. Once the nuts are in the bag, make sure the bag is properly sealed. Place the bag of nuts on a hard surface like your countertop.

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Now, other websites have suggested using a rolling pin and rolling over the nuts within the plastic bag to break their shells open. This is perfectly fine, but if you don’t have a large rolling pin like this one handy, you can use a heavy, hardcover book like a text book and press the book down hard on the nuts. You could even use a small hammer (but be careful not to damage your counter top!)

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Are Pinon Nuts and Pine Nuts the Same?

Not exactly! Pinon trees do resemble small pine trees and the nuts (edible seeds) are harvested from the cones of the Pinon tree (which resemble pine cones).

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The major differences between Pinon Nuts and Pine Nuts (aside from growing on different trees) is that Pinon Nuts are:

  • Larger
  • Taste Better
  • More Expensive

What Do Pinon Nuts taste Like

Pinons have a mild, buttery, natural flavor that is more desirable than the typical pine nut.

Where Can I Get Pinon Nuts?

Unless you live in the Western region of North America (New Mexico, Nevada, Utah or South America) where you may be able to harvest these nuts yourself, your best bet is a local specialty store or online.

The best places to buy Pinion nuts for roasting are:

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Local Health Food Store in your area

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So What Make Your Method of Roasting EASY?

Leaving the nuts in their shells as you roast them AND roasting at a lower temperature for longer than the conventional wisdom suggests makes the nuts LESS LIKELY to burn. No need to de-shell AND less likely to burn – I’d call that easy.

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Have You Tried Roasting Pinon Nuts Yourself?

If you have ever tried roasting Pinons, or you have a different method for enjoying these rare, but delicious nuts, please let me know down in the comments section below. And, feel free to check out the Metabolic Cookbook if you are looking for keto, plant and nut-based, metabolism boosting recipes

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