Most nuts can easily be separated from their shell. The Brazil nut is an exception. It’s one of the toughest nuts to crack.
How can you crack Brazil nuts the easy way? There are a few hacks that make cracking a Brazil nut easier. These methods help to soften their thick, tough, and brown shells, making cracking them easier. They include freezing, boiling, oven, and the soaking method.
Let’s explore the different ways you can crack the nuts code and not only have your delicious snack on time but also get your vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Hacks to Crack Your Nuts
1. The Freezing Method
Using freezing as a method to easily crack open Brazil nuts relies on the chemistry behind water changing from liquid form to solid. Freezing causes the water present in the nuts and in their shells to freeze. When water freezes, it expands, making the shells weak and easier to crack. To freeze your Brazil nuts:
- Put your Brazil nuts in an airtight freezer bag and place them in the freezer for about six hours.
- Remove the nuts from the freezer.
- Crack the nuts.
2. The Soaking Method
Soaking nuts helps to soften the shells of Brazil nuts, making them easier to crack.
- Soak your Brazil nuts in water for two to three hours.
- Drain your nuts off the water using a strainer or colander.
- Crack the nuts.
3. The Boiling Method
Boiling your Brazil nuts also helps to soften their shells. To boil your Brazil nuts:
- Place your Brazil nuts in a pot of water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Boil the nuts for about three minutes.
- Drain the hot water using a strainer or colander.
- Plunge the boiled nuts into a pot of cold water and soak them for about two minutes.
- Crack the nuts.
4. The Oven Method
Baking your Brazil nuts also helps to soften the shells. To bake your nuts:
- Arrange your nuts on a baking tray.
- Place the tray in a moderate oven at 180ºC/350ºF.
- Bake the nuts for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the nuts from the oven and let them cool.
- Crack your nuts.
The oven method also helps to develop the flavor of the nuts.
Soaking, boiling, and freezing nuts usually leave the kernels of the nuts slightly flabby and soft. Therefore, it’s advisable to employ these methods when you intend to use your nuts to cook or bake. If you intend to use your nuts as a snack, you should cook or roast them before eating.
How and What Tools Can You Use to Crack Your Nuts?
1. Use a Spring-Loaded or Hinged Nutcracker
A conventional nutcracker is made from two pieces of wood or metal that are joined by a hinge.
When using a nutcracker, put the nut near the hinge. The Brazil nut is vaguely triangular. Line it up so that the straight side rests on the grooves of the nutcracker and grip hard. Once the shell is broken, extract the kernel from the shell and let it dry.
Your success at cracking your nut will solely depend on your strength. You should apply minimal force to avoid crushing the nut kernel and rotate it in the grip of the nutcracker so that the shell cracks slowly.
2. Using a Screw Press or Screw Motion Nutcracker
A screw press or screw motion nutcracker comes in handy when you need help applying pressure to crack your nuts. They are usually made of wood or metal. Using a screw motion nutcracker, the pressure is applied to the nut’s shell without the user having a strong grip on the tool.
3. Using a Sharp Knife
If you have steady hands, you can use a sharp knife to crack the shells of nuts. All you need to do is place the knife’s tip into the nut’s hinge or seam. Once you’ve inserted the tip, twist the knife to force the hinge or seam open. If done correctly, the shell of the nut will split open.
It’s essential to ensure that there are no people nearby in case of a knife slip or shell debris to prevent injuries.
4. Using a Hammer
It’s a straightforward method: Place your nut on a flat towel-covered surface, take a hammer, lift it, and strike the nut.
This method is for people that have the patience to distinguish between and pick out the fragments of the kernel from the shell fragments. It’s not the best method to use. However, if you’re patient and gentle enough, it’s possible to softly tap the nut’s shell continually to get the best results.
How To Crack Every Nut | Method Mastery | Epicurious
5. Using a Door Hinge
If all the other methods fail, use a door hinge. All you need is a door with good hinge support.
Place your nut between the open door, in the hinge, between the door and the door jab, and slowly close the door so that the hinge presses tightly against your nut. Once you hear a cracking sound, open the door, collect your nut, and separate the kernel from the shell debris.
Whichever method you decide to use to soften your nuts’ shells, you may still need to use a tool to crack your nuts.
- What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Brazil Nuts? Not only do Brazil nuts contain a lot of nutrients, but they also help with thyroid disorders, reduce inflammation, and are good for the brain and heart.
- How Can You Store Nuts? Store your nuts in an airtight container and place them in the fridge or freezer.
- What Type Of Nuts Are Healthier To Eat? All nuts provide a mixture of minerals, fiber, unsaturated fat, proteins, and vitamins. For example, Brazil nuts are rich in the mineral selenium, while almonds are rich in calcium.
- Is It Better To Eat Roasted Or Raw Nuts? No, and yes. While raw nuts have a higher content of minerals and vitamins, roasted nuts have a higher total fat content.
- Does Flaking, Grinding, Or Roasting Affect The Nutrient Content In Nuts? Other than the fact that flaked nuts contain slightly less fiber since the outer coat has been removed, both ground and roasted nuts have the same nutritional value.
- How Many Nuts Should I Eat Per Day? It’s recommended that one eats about one ounce of nuts per day. That is seven walnuts, two handfuls of pistachios, 15 pecan halves, five cashews, or a small handful of hazelnuts.
- Should I Stop Eating Nuts If I’m Trying To Lose Weight? No. Although nuts contain fat, they are also full of fiber and proteins that will satisfy your hunger and keep you full for long, reducing your energy intake altogether.