August 11, 2008

Hazelnuts, Flat Bellies, and My New BFF's

[By Crabby]

Back in the olden days of Cranky Fitness, when bloggers wore togas and carved out blog posts on stone tablets, I wrote something about the health benefits of pistachios.

First known BlogHer conference; circa 23 A.D.
(photo credit: Betsymartian)

And now, all of a sudden, I'm feeling motivated to write another post about nuts! Specifically, how nutritious and tasty hazelnuts are.

Is it because of a recent study that said that hazelnuts contain massive amounts of proanthocyanidin, a powerful antioxidant--in even greater quantities than many other "superfoods?"

Well, er, it might be... if I could find a link to the damn study.

Is it because hazelnuts actually are really good for you, containing lots of fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and potassium?

Uh, sure, yeah, that's it!

But could it also be because hazelnuts contain lots of monounsaturated fatty acids, making them a high MUFA food that will make it easier to stay on your Flat Belly Diet?

(Note: for those of you who have blogs: MUFA's and Flat Belly Diet are very search-friendly terms. Just in case you might want to work them gratuitously into a post someday.)

In any event, my current enthusiasm for hazelnuts has absolutely nothing to do with this Hazelnut Gift Tray that arrived recently courtesy of the friendly folks at the Hazelnut Council!

Because bloggers are very ethical folks who would never extol the virtues of a food, even one that is HEALTHY and DELICIOUS, just because they might have received, oh, say, hypothetically...

...their very favorite candy bar in the entire world for FREE.

(And does anyone else find they are subliminally influenced by the term "Ritter Sport" into thinking that somehow this particular candy is the sort athletes would pick because it's so nutritious even though that's STUPID??!!)

In the interest of full disclosure, I should reveal that I also got a cookie sheet, mixing spoon, spices, nuts, yummy English Toffee (which must have had hazelnuts in it? I sort of missed that part in the frenzy) and assorted recipes.

Oh, and...

A whole new passel of Best Friends!!! Aren't you all jealous?

According to the accompanying hazelnut literature, which takes the form of a journal/scrapbook, I am invited to Cecelia's house on Saturday at 8pm... and boy howdy, am I excited!

(The Lobster is going to be SO jealous because she doesn't have a blog and so is not invited and Cecelia is pretty darn cute! You can click on the picture if you want to verify. She's in the lower right hand corner.)

However, I kinda think my new BFF, Galena, said something about Cecelia having a little Frangelico problem...

So it's a good thing they also gave me a handy Hazelnut Journal to record every exciting moment of my new, hazelnut-filled life!

(Confidential to Hershey's and Dunkin' Donuts PR people: No free samples, huh? This coulda been ALL ABOUT YOU! Maybe next time, eh?)

Actually, as it happens I really DO like nuts, including (thank goodness) hazelnuts. I eat a lot more of them than I did back in the "you must count every gram of fat" days. Anyone else? Or have thoughts on sleazy bloggers scarfing up free food and then attempting to blog about it?


  1. Im about 50 percent nuts (rimshot!).


    that said Im more a shun the processed white than the fat.

    bring on the fat.


  2. sigh... i love nuts... favo(u)rite is cashew, but I like just about any. Sadly, can't eat them. If I have just one, my gut feels like it's full of razor blades. Just one will do it. :-(

  3. Oh no, Marijke! And nuts are hidden in so many things too. No fair!

  4. I'm embarrassed to say I've never tried Hazelnuts, that I know of. I thought slmonds were the reigning champs of the Healthy Nut competition...I will have to give Hazel a taste test. And ....what's up with the price of Pistachio's ??

  5. You know what else is made of Hazelnuts? Nutella! And it's delicious, so very delicious... and probably super healthy, like a superfood or something... I hope...

  6. I'm nuts for nuts (yep, puns this early on a Monday) but I still have a hard time allowing myself to eat them due to Calorie Fears of Old. Pistachios and cashews for me (LOVE), but generally only at Christmas (STUPID)!

    Now Ritter Sport IS amazing - I thought it was just a European phenomenon! The marzipan one is dreamy...

    TA x

  7. Nuts, nuts, NUTS...I love almost every nut there is EXCEPT Hazelnuts. Don't know why they don't appeal to my nutty personality...glad someone likes them though! Enjoy your treats!

  8. You know how sometimes you can so love a food that you eat it, well, a lot, and then you never ever want to even smell it again? That's hazelnuts for me (so I've been deeply traumatized by this post).

    Years ago in my grad school days I used to occasionally make fabulous desserts, one of which called for caramelizing whole hazelnuts and drying them on skewers for the top of the cake. Needless to say, these were Quite Good, and I ate Far Too Many, and that was kind of it on hazelnuts forever.

    Except in Nutella, which is a food group all its own.

  9. Now I know what to get Crabby for her birthday!
    What I want to know is why hazelnuts don't come from hazelnut trees? Turns out they come from filbert trees, and if you call them hazelnut trees everyone frowns at you and makes comments about them ignorant Californians...
    As it happens, I have two huge 60-year-old filbert trees in my backyard. I'll keep an eye on them and see if they are feeling productive.

  10. Note to Merry, we call 'em hazelnut bushes up here so it's okay to say that.

    I love hazelnuts and have tried them right off the tree. They're adequate that way. They're fun to find, though. They have a covering that ends in what looks like a little elf's cap.
    Oh, and Ritter Sport Chocolate? Very very good.

  11. I looooove hazelnuts. And I'm a big fan of the Ritter Sport bar too - I think it's called Ritter Sport because it fits into a pocket so you can take it hiking.

    I don't eat a whole lot of nuts at present though - I know they're good for me and I plan on reintroducing them when I'm in "maintenance!!" mode, but right now they just don't fill me up enough for the calorie load. Unfortunately :(

  12. I'm a HUGE almond fan. I have about a handful a day and love them . Protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals. Being nuts is the way to go. ;)

  13. Hazelnuts! Filberts! One of the many foods my mother's allergies introduced me to. (Frog legs: bad. Hazelnuts: good.) I used to eat them by the pint, and I haven't had any for years. Time to hunt some up.

    Of course my true love is the pecan, since my mother was from Alabama and my grandmother sent them to us free.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  14. Great post! Had me snickering and I'm not even completely awake yet. Another great cooking option is hazelnut oil or macadamian nut oil-adds a great flavor to foods with lots of the great MUFA benefits from the nut.

  15. After reading all these comments, am I the only one who can't stop thinking about the movie "Best In Show" ? I must rent that tonight.

  16. I love nuts. Had pecan crusted salmon this weekend...mmmmm....will post the recipe at some point.

  17. Merry, you could knock me down with a feather! Hazelnuts are filberts? Well hot damn! My aunt and uncle have filbert trees on their property and they used to send us filberts all the time and my mother would always complain about having so many filberts that we'd never eat. And they were really hazelnuts! Who knew!

    Nutella is my staple. I eat it every morning on toast at work. And on the infrequent occasions when I drink coffee, I always get hazelnut coffee. Mmm. Now I want more Nutella. Already had my morning toast, but man do I want more now.

  18. I usually add nuts to whatever muffin I'm baking (although the winner so far is banana walnut bran). If I find one that works with hazelnuts, I'll send it to you (and since BK and I are out of muffins, looks like I'll be experimenting today).

  19. The whole hazelnut/filbert thing was a revelation to me too!

    Filberts sounded so boring--I never knew they were really hazelnuts under an assumed name.

    And Best in Show? I loved that movie but it's been a while--do NOT remember anything hazelnut-related but my memory ain't what it used to be. Perhaps I need to add some more blueberries to my hazelnut diet.

  20. Hmm. How strange that this item didn't end up in the Friday (or whatever day you happen to be choosing this week) giveaway pile!

  21. I love nuts. My favorite nuts are walnuts (which is good, because I have three walnut trees), hazelnuts (also good - the neighbor has 3 of those) & cashews.

    My secret favorite? Dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts. bliss.

  22. Naming Nuts!!! Of course, Juicebox Mom! I love that film too, Christopher Guest is a genius.

    I cribbed the quote of IMDB to jog Crabby's memory:

    "I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut." That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She'd say, "Would you stop naming nuts!" And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn't talk, but he'd go "rrrawr rrawr" and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it's also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut."

    TA x

  23. Sleazy bloggers?

    I attract nuts.

  24. I'm like Mizfit!! Except for the more fat part. Oh yeah, she's got bigger guns, and a wonderful kid, and a few other things, but otherwise, we're like two nuts in a shell :-)

  25. I love nuts! Almonds, pistachios, macadamians, walnuts, brazil nuts. I don't mind hazelnuts and will eat them before cashews - I know, most people will eat cashews before anything else.

  26. Hazelnuts are yummy! I had no idea there was a Hazelnut Council that could be convinced to send me free hazelnuts if I sweet-talked them just right. Hmm...

    Did they send hazelnut meal? I incorporate hazelnut or pecan meal into most of my cookies and quickbreads. :-)

  27. This post cracked me up. Hilarious!! I love nuts but wasn't too into hazelnuts until I lived in Europe. For some reason Germans are all about the hazelnuts. (mmmm...nutella) And that Ritter Sport bar? My fave too. Well, second to the Marzipan one. But Marzipan is almond paste so - yay for nuts!!

  28. Bunnygirl, where do you get hazelnut meal? I've never heard of such a thing! Do you use it in place of flour? I should try an experiment with it and post on my blog!

  29. I have never tried a hazelnut, but after this post, I am going to get me some. (their plan worked!am i invited to Cecelias house too?)

    I'm more of an almond girl, but willing to branch out for the sake of blogging. (and health, of course)

  30. you are hysterical. i love you.

  31. Almonds are always on my snack list....hazelnuts not so much. Thanks!

  32. be forewarned..I have a DD card to preview their new egg white flatbread sandwiches and will be pulling a similar stunt next week!

  33. Crabby!! This is too funny - I was going to post about hazelnuts today, too, because they grow wild on our cattle lease, and I filmed them and everything....but there wasn't a nut to be found!! Now I know why - you have them all!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Ooooeee! Party at Cecelia's and I think we're ALL invited. Bring tons of chocolate covered hazelnuts, hazelnut meal, Nutella, hazelnut cookies, and heck, any ol' nut you like. And then we can all do Frangelico shooters while watching Best in Show.

    (How could I forget the Naming Nuts!)

    Actually, just the THOUGHT of Frangelico shooters makes me want to barf, so perhaps we'll rethink the beverage selection.

    And, um, yeah, about those giveaways... you're probably not going to see TOO many giveaways that involve edible products, especially not chocolate-covered ones. You guys get the healthy self-improvement stuff; I'll eat the candy. (For your own good, of course...)

    Hey Leslie, DD gave you a card for free samples???? Those rats; they didn't offer me one. Even if I don't know if I WANT to try an egg-white sandwich, now I feel dissed!

  35. Mmmmm, hazelnuts. I hardly ever eat nuts, but I must confess to forking over an UNGODLY amount of money at Whole Foods for a teeny-tiny jar of hazelnut butter. Every once in a while I eat a spoonful, and God help the person who eats my hazelnut butter. LOL

  36. I love this Profiles in Legumes series you have going on. Pistachios are one of my favorite sitting-around-the-campfire-flicking-the-shells-into-the-fire activities. Plus, they make me want to hyphenate like crazy.

  37. Love nuts! But I mostly only eat almonds. And I'm weird because I hate nuts in cookies, breads, salads, etc... I just like them by themselves. So strange:)

  38. Beverage choice? Hazelnut flavored coffee, of course, Crabby! How could you skip coffee?

    "Had pecan crusted salmon this weekend...mmmmm....will post the recipe at some point." PLEASE, Missicat! (Assuming the recipe will survive frozen salmon.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  39. Just wanted to let you know that I've received "Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry" from the UPS man today and it looks wonderful! I can't wait 'til my honey gets home so we can get cooking! Thanks again!

    p.s. And I've never considered hazelnuts before, so now I have to google them. I wonder if this books has any recipes that include them? *starts flipping through* Wish me luck!

  40. I think this is the first time I visited your blog. How could I have missed it? You are too funny.

    Oh, man, that Ritter Sport candy of my co-workers brings it to inservice days and shares it there...I don't dare keep it at home, cause I don't think I could leave it alone!

  41. Love hazelnuts (and brazil nuts and many others..) but I can only find them in mixed nut combos.

    Snack on nuts every evening.. usually almonds because they are easy to find. Have you tried the cocoa dusted almonds by Emerald? YUM.

  42. hazelnut muffins? Try this: Make a chocolate muffin recipy. When putting them into pans, put in half the mixture, place a pinch of chocolate buds and a single hazelnut in the middle. Put the rest of the mixture on top.
    When there cooked, eat them warm so that the chocolate is melted.
    MMMMMMMMMmmmmmm so unhealthy

  43. Hazelnuts = filberts, which is also the name of a type of artist's paintbrush, basically a flat with a rounded tip, which I love to use.

    Tree nuts are one of the big allergens, so it's probably good to rotate varieties. I love pecans, can't eat them, or peanuts which are really a legume. I had a rental house for awhile that had a huge old pecan tree in the backyard, and I used to rake up all the green pecans as they fell. You have to corral them in an open box or such to let them dry out a couple of weeks so you can peel the outer covering. Like walnuts, the juice in that skin will turn your hands black, as if you dipped them in walnut stain. I did that for a friend, boxes and boxes worth, even though I couldn't eat them myself. Said friend turned out to be literally nuts, and I ended up hugely in debt and with severe PTSD. I'd suggest nut poisoning, but I think she was psycho from way back..

    On a lighter note, yes, the Ritter Sport bars have always made me think of hiking or mountain biking! It must be something subliminal in the packaging, because I doubt I eat one a year. They are awesome though, I just don't get them because I always eat the whole thing at once, even though I'm sure I'm going to save at least half of it. Chocolate combined with hazelnuts is my undoing; yay, Nutella! I can't keep that in the house either, I will eat it by the spoonful until it's gone.

    In the am, fresh plain yogurt, sprinkled with dried cranberries and bluberries (unsulphured) and sliced almonds, wow!

    And for anyone with a Trader Joe's, try the Cashew/Macadamia nut butter, yum.

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  45. There's an entire COUNCIL just for Hazelnuts? Who knew? But I guess if a Hazelmut is the answer to life and the secret to happiness, they deserve their own council, eh? Happy munching Crabby!


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