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All about: Hazelnuts

September 15, 2014
©Horst Frank

Hazelnuts, also commonly known as filberts, are produced by the hazel tree.

People have been cultivating hazelnuts for approximately 9,000 years.

Hazelnuts are now grown all over the world, with Turkey being the largest producer by a large margin, followed by Italy and the USA.

We source our nuts from a lesser-known area for hazelnut production: the Fraser Valley of BC, Canada.

The hazel tree is unique in the way it pollinates, producing male flowers in the form of catkins and female flowers which form as smaller red tufts in the winter.

hazelnut-orchardIt then relies on the wind to carry the pollen and fertilize the female flowers which remain in an inactive state until spring when the hazelnuts start to develop.

Harvest time is in the late summer and autumn, and is done primarily with the use of large mechanical equipment. A sweeper brushes the nuts that have fallen from the trees into piles between the tree rows. A harvester picks the nuts up and sifts out any debris; the nuts are then moved to a processing plant where they are cleaned, dried and processed.

As with most nuts, the hazelnut is very nutrient-dense. These nuts are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids as well as omega 3 and 6 that can help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They’re very rich in folate, vitamin E, copper, manganese, iron and thiamin, while slightly lower but still a very good source of zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins K and B6.

Other then just eating hazelnuts by the handful, they’re great to use in your everyday cooking. If you need a few ideas for ways to add them to your diet, try a couple of these recipes from our website:

Roasted Hazelnut Asparagus




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