Have you ever wondered how you could use walnuts in your cooking?
Walnuts are an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used to add crunch and flavor to dishes from breakfast to dessert.
Luckily, if you don’t have them on hand, there are five great substitutes for walnuts that can provide both the same taste and texture.
In this article, we’ll go over how to cook with walnuts, show you the five best substitutes for adding crunch and flavor, and provide some fun, creative recipe ideas.
Let’s get started.
What is a Walnut?
Walnut is a nut-bearing tree with an interesting origin and history.
Native to the Balkans, walnuts spread up through Europe into England, around the world, and eventually to North America.
They are considered a good source of protein and are delicious when fresh and crunchy, though they also take well to roasting for a richer flavor.
Walnuts have a unique texture that is both smooth and slightly gritty compared to other nuts, which comes from their high polyunsaturated fat content; they are also quite oily.
These characteristics make them an ideal choice for inclusion in various dishes such as pasta and omelets or baked goods like muffins or brownies.
Alternatively, you can use walnuts as a topping for salads or ice cream, making it a versatile food source with plenty of flavors.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Walnuts
If you’re in a pinch and need to substitute walnuts from your favorite recipes, here are 5 of the best options:
1 – Almonds
Almonds are a versatile and delicious nut that has become increasingly popular across the world.
With a sweet, nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture, almonds can be used to top salads, baked into granola bars, or simply enjoyed as a tasty snack.
Almonds can also serve as an excellent substitute for walnuts in baking recipes due to their similarly earthy taste and crunchy texture.
For example, you can use chopped almonds instead of walnuts when making brownies, muffins, or cookies just by substituting one for the other—no other adjustments are needed.
2 – Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts offer an unmistakable crunch with a pleasantly subtle sweetness.
They boast a creamy yet firm texture that sits atop all other nuts.
Those looking to substitute this new favorite for some other nut, such as walnuts, may find themselves asking how; however, the answer is quite simple.
With some minor adjustments, such as modifying the amount you use since Brazil nuts are generally larger than walnuts and may require more, Brazil nuts can be used in place of walnuts in nearly any recipe.
That’s just one more way to allow for some added flavor and crunch to your recipes.
3 – Cashews
Cashews are an interesting nut.
With their buttery texture, they offer a distinct flavor that is hard to replicate with other nuts.
Their taste is slightly sweet, nutty, and even slightly creamy, which makes them unique for a variety of dishes.
While walnuts are the standard in many recipes, cashews can be substituted for them if desired.
The taste may be a bit different, but the creaminess of the cashews will add an interesting twist to the dish.
Cashews can also easily be grounded into a paste-like consistency, great for thickening soups and sauces if you need an alternative to flour or cornstarch.
4 – Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants that make them incredibly beneficial for your health.
They have a delicate and slightly sweet flavor with a creamy texture when cooked, similar to almonds.
Hazelnuts can be used as an excellent substitute for walnuts in baking, roasting, or chopping and sprinkling into salads.
Their buttery flavor can add new depth to many recipes by adding a subtle earthiness, to either savory or sweet dishes.
They may need to be roasted at a lower temperature for longer than walnuts to get the fullest taste from them.
However, you will be rewarded with the wonderful nuttiness that hazelnuts bring.
5 – Pecans
Pecans are an excellent nut, both in taste and texture.
They have a slightly sweeter flavor than walnuts, but they can be used as a substitute in many recipes.
The texture of pecans is crunchy and flavorful, and their taste is earthy and nutty without being too overpowering.
They are a great addition to desserts and other sweet treats but can also be used for savory dishes.
To use pecans as a substitute for walnuts in baking, simply grind them up into small pieces or buy pre-chopped ones and add them to the recipe wherever you would normally use walnuts.
However you choose to use them, you won’t regret adding some deliciousness to these warm-weather nuts.
In conclusion, there are many great options for substituting walnuts in recipes.
All of the nuts mentioned above offer unique flavors and textures that can add an interesting twist to your baking.
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and pecans each bring their own flavor and texture.
So if you’re out of walnuts or looking to switch things up a bit, don’t be afraid to get creative with these nuts.
With the right combination, you can create delicious recipes that your family and friends will love.