The Top 10 Best Uses for Nuts in Cooking and Baking

Pressed for time but still make it a point to prepare delicious and healthy meals and snacks? Be sure you have enough nuts and fruits for healthy snacking and at a low budget too! In fact, nuts and fruits are a staple of many snacks, desserts and even meals. Rarely is one ingredient as versatile as the nut and if you enroll in cooking classes you will likely be able to rattle of even more uses for this ingredient without a second thought!

Here are a few specific ways to utilize nuts when you don't want to consume them as is on their own.

1. As a Topping
Use nuts as toppings, on salads, fruits and trail mixes. The only limitation you have is your imagination. Many cooking schools in Los Angeles teach their students that creativity is what separates the mundane from the memorable!

2. Banana Treat
Peel a ripe banana and slice it in half. Top the flat side of the bananas with little amounts of condensed milk and finally sprinkle chopped nuts on top. This makes a great snack to serve to the kids, or any guests you have over. Add ingredients according to number of people to be served. It is also great served along with fresh fruit juice!

3. Trail Mix
Mix nuts, raisins, dried berries and preserved fruits in a bowl. This trail mix is ideal for snacks when kids play outdoors, for a picnic or for physical activities that require no-mess eating. Budget quantities according to estimated needs Even adults are welcome to nibble on them too.For an extra taste sprinkle coconut as a toping.

4. Salad
Not everything that tastes good has to be bad for you! Teach your kids how to eat their vegetables by mixing fresh romaine lettuce, vinaigrette or ranch salad dressing, tomatoes and olives and topping with nuts and breadcrumbs. Be sure to toast the nuts before serving, and encourage kids to finish their vegetables before heading on to dessert.

5. Ice Cream
Have you prepared your homemade ice cream for the whole family to enjoy? Add some nuts on a fruity flavored ice cream to complete your creamy, icy dessert and see some smiles flash as your tray passes by.

6. Candy
Make candies out of nuts (especially soft, creamy ones) by melting fine sugar in a pan until they are nearing liquid state on steady, low heat, and mix the nuts until they are fully covered with the sugar mixture. Cool them and store in a candy or cookie jar for some sweet indulgence later.

7. Mini Pies
Individual dessert pies are for the conscious eater. Use stripped coconuts in the filling mixed with condensed milk and sugar, and put them inside aluminum molds already covered with the pie dough. Top the filling with cheese and nuts.

8. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are healthy and fun to prepare, not to mention very delicious. With your choice of carrots, firm coconut shoots, shrimp, nuts and Mongolian sauce, use fresh egg wrappers and serve to your guests or friends.

9. Pears and Apples
Slice fresh pears and apples, drizzle with honey and top off with nuts for a delightful, crunchy and tangy dessert. Add some puffy pastry on the side for a deconstructed dessert. Be sure to moderate your honey for those who do not have quite a sweet tooth. But this dessert adds some rustic charm just the same.

10. Italian
Add some crunch on your pasts by adding some chopped nuts. Scampi or spaghetti can use a little twist in these old, traditional recipes and you will enjoy for the whole family.

Try some of these creative ideas, one might only think would be found in cooking classes. Have a great time in the kitchen and maybe it will lead you to cooking school in Los Angeles – you never know!

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Los Angeles, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit for more information. 

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