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The 5 Best Substitutes for Brazil Nuts

Have you ever eaten Brazil Nuts?

Brazil nuts are a type of tree nut usually sold shelled and can be found in many grocery stores.

They are very popular to use as ingredients for candy, baking, ice cream, trail mix, and other recipes worldwide.

Brazil Nut trees need to be cultivated far away from each other because they grow to be quite large and need a lot of space.

Brazil Nuts can be seen as an extremely healthy snack; however, they are relatively expensive.

Some healthy benefits of eating Brazil Nuts include having high selenium levels, which is good for heart health, having antioxidants that can be very beneficial to your immune system, and boosting your energy levels.

However, if you are looking for an alternative to Brazil Nuts, then there are many other nuts available on the market at a much lower price.

This article will explain the five best substitutes for Brazil Nuts.

What are Brazil Nuts?

what are brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are seeds from a tree called Bertholletia excelsa.

It is native to the rain forests of South America, and it has fruit pods that look like coconuts.

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The nuts can be up to 2 inches long, and they grow inside these woody pods.

These nuts are the only seeds that fall out of the pod as a whole when ripe.

These nuts were plentiful for centuries, and local populations widely consumed its seeds.

Today, they are an important cash crop, and the nut is often exported to other parts of the world.

Brazil nuts contain nutrients like vitamin E (a nutrient known as a natural antioxidant), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium.

They also include beneficial plant fats.

However, they were sometimes found to have a high amount of selenium which can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities.

In the United States, Brazil nuts are often used as a baking ingredient or as a garnish for desserts and other sweet treats.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brazil Nuts

If you are allergic to Brazil nuts, you can easily look for substitutes.

Here are some of the best options:

1 – Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts can be a great substitute for Brazil nuts because they are not too different in taste and shape; however, they are much cheaper than Brazil nuts and still have many health benefits such as healthy fats that benefit your hair and skin.

Macadamia nuts are native to Australia, but they are grown worldwide.

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The taste of macadamia nuts is sweet and buttery, but some describe the taste as similar to Brazil nuts.

Hence, if you’re allergic to Brazil nuts, but want a similar substitute in taste and texture, then macadamia nuts are definitely for you.

2 – Pili Nuts

pili nuts

This nut has a flavor of chestnuts.

They are soft, chewy, and have a smooth texture once roasted or steamed.

Pili nuts are popular in the Philippines.

Filipinos have consumed these nuts for years because it grows best in the archipelago’s tropical climate.

The pili nut tree can grow up to 20 – 30 meters tall.

These nuts have a great taste and can be used as a bread spread or an ice cream topping.

The flavor is similar to a macadamia nut or a chestnut when roasted.

3 – English Walnuts

english walnuts

English walnuts are considered the best substitute for Brazil nuts because they have a very similar texture and taste.

Most people can’t tell the difference between these two types of nuts.

Even though this variety of nuts contains more omega-3 fatty acids, it also has more calories.

They are typically rounder than Brazil nuts, and they may be dark brown with a hint of redness around the edges.

They’re lighter in weight than Brazil nuts; hence, they can be shelled relatively easily.

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English walnuts are native to India but grown in most subtropical regions.

These nuts have a very nutty taste and crunchy texture in terms of flavor.

The English walnut contains Omega-3 fatty acids, reducing your risk of heart disease and lowering bad cholesterol.

The most popular way to eat English walnuts is by adding them to salads or desserts.

4 – Cashews


Cashews are a great substitute for Brazil nuts because they have a similar shape, but the taste is somewhat different.

Many people make the mistake of thinking it’s a type of Brazil nut.

They are not related at all.

While cashews do contain some selenium which can be beneficial, too much can be toxic to your body.

They have a firm texture, making them harder to break or crack open.

However, cashews do not require as much shelling as Brazil nuts because their shells aren’t as thick or difficult to remove as Brazil nuts.

The most common way cashews are eaten by adding them to trail mixes or desserts.

However, you can bake and roast cashews for a healthier alternative.

5 – Pistachio Nuts

pistachio nuts

For those who don’t like cashews, pistachios are a good substitute for Brazil nuts because they have similar shapes, sizes, and tastes.

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Many people confuse this nut with a Brazil nut when they’re two different varieties of nuts.

Pistachio nuts tend to be rounder and flatter than Brazil nuts, and they’re usually a lighter color.

However, if pistachios are roasted or cooked for too long, their natural greenish-yellow coloring will be lost.

Pistachio nuts can be eaten raw, roasted, or baked.

This variety of nut is native to the Middle East and Asia; hence it is widely sold in bulk in India, Pakistan, and Turkey.


Brazil nuts are popular for their sweet taste and crunchy, nutty texture.

But did you know that other types of nuts are very similar in shape and size to Brazil nuts? We have listed down the best substitutes for Brazil nuts if you’re allergic to these particular nut types or want to try something different.

This list of substitutes can be used for Brazil nuts in recipes or even eaten raw on its own if you’re not allergic to any of these types of nuts.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brazil Nuts

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brazil Nuts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pili Nuts
  • English Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pistachio Nuts


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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