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Why You Should Add Pine Nuts to Your Diet Now!

I’m a latecomer to the goodness of pine nuts for some reason. I discovered them while researching homemade pesto recipes earlier this year.

Pine nuts come from pine trees and are technically the seeds of the tree, not nuts. They can be found in Siberia and Canada.

Another variation of it can also be found in certain areas of Asia such as Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Pine nuts aka pignoli come in a tough outer shell, which is cracked open to extract the light brown nuts.

6 Reasons Pine Nuts are Important to a Healthy Diet

Pine nuts have a buttery texture when raw but when toasted, the taste is elevated to crunchy with a sweet bite to it.

I’ll be covering pine nuts nutrition in this article as well as why it’s so good to add it to your diet, how to toast pine nuts without burning them and my best 5 pesto recipes with pine nuts.

Though delicious, pine nuts can be very expensive. A handful can cost me as much as $10 sometimes depending on the origin. 

The reason why pine nuts are so expensive is due to the labour and time intensive process involved in harvesting and gathering them since they’re spread over wide areas. 

6 Reasons Pine Nuts are Important to a Healthy Diet

1. Pine Nuts Boosts Energy

A handful of pine nuts provide a burst of energy and calories rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

I eat pine nuts along with a cereal bar before my work out every morning. Additionally, I add them to all my salads and sautéed spinach. Feel free to use them in baking and confectionery as well.

2. Lowers Bad Cholesterol

They are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower bad cholesterol in the body and bolsters good cholesterol.

3. Curbs Appetite

It contains an essential fatty acid known as pinolenic acid, which research has shown can curb appetite. This is an ideal snack for in-between meals.

Kirkland Signature Organic Pine Nuts

Kirkland Signature Organic Pine Nuts

4. Protects Eyes

Pine nuts contain lutein, a carotenoid that protects the eyes from macular degeneration (AMD).

5. Gluten Free and Diet Friendly

Pine nuts are gluten-free and suitable for all diet plans unless you have a nut allergy.

6. Great for Healthy Hair Growth

Pine nuts are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. This right here spells awesomeness for your hair growth goals.

Should Pine Nuts Be Toasted?

You don’t have to toast pine nuts but toasting helps them last longer. Toasted pine nuts also taste much better.

You can buy raw pine nuts and toast them yourself or buy already toasted pine nuts. I prefer to toast mine myself.

Below is a side by side comparison of pine nuts from Pakistan prior to toasting and afterwards.


How to Toast Pine Nuts

Stove Top Toasted Pine Nuts

  • Place a dry frying pan over high heat When it’s very hot, pour the pine nuts in but don’t crowd the pan.
  • Stir the pine nuts every few seconds as it can burn quite quickly. It should take only 5 minutes to brown each batch. Even it doesn’t look browned enough, take it out of the pan after 5 minutes as the heat continues to brown the pine nuts after they’re taken off the stove.

Oven Toasted Pine Nuts

  • Pre-heat an oven to 375ºF.
  • Spread the pine nuts out over a baking tray without crowding the tray.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 5 – 10 minutes. You will also need to stir every 2 minutes or so to prevent burning. 

Microwave Toasted Pine Nuts

  • Grab a microwave safe plate and spread a handful of pine nuts across the plate.
  • Microwave on full power for 1 – 2 minutes. You will need to keep your eye on them as this method can get the pine nuts burned quickly. Personally, I ‘d recommend sticking to the two other methods above. 

Some people coat the pine nuts lightly with oil before toasting but this isn’t necessary as it may throw off the taste of the pine nuts. 

best toasted pine nuts recipe

How to Store Toasted Pine Nuts

After toasting pine nuts, wait until cool, then store in an airtight container like this one. Keep at the back of the fridge away from moisture.

Pine nuts tend to go rancid quickly because of the high oil content. With this in mind, make in small batches at a time and consume within a few weeks.

Best Jar for Storing Pine Nuts

Best Pesto Recipe with Pine Nuts

I became addicted to pesto very quickly after I discovered pine nuts and went hunting for pesto recipes. Below are my top 5 pesto recipes with toasted pine nuts:-


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The Secrets Behind Pine Nut Oil for Better Health | Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Tuesday 8th of May 2018

[…] Why you should add pine nuts to your diet now was discussed in a previous article but did you know you can also derive oil from the seeds of the pine tree? This oil is known as pine seed oil or cedar nut oil and is obtained from the pine trees grown in Europe and North America. […]