Not all Nuts are What They’re Cracked Up to Be

Not all Nuts are What They’re Cracked Up to Be

Did you know that there are over 50 types of edible nuts worldwide?  This doesn’t even account for variations like black walnuts or the six different kinds of pine nuts.  So many really delicious options!  Now, there’s also different classifications of nuts, like tree nuts, and some seeds that we think of as nuts (i.e., pine nuts), and legumes (like peanuts or Barukas).  We all have our favorites, and every single kind of nut has it’s own host of goodness to offer, but this week, I wanted to focus more on the difference in how nuts are grown, and what that means to us.  I’m sure you’ve seen a can of cashews for $5, or as much as $30.  The reason for such a price difference is truly eye opening.


Nuts differ in price because, like so many other plant foods, it’s based on the way they’re grown.  A while back, I was wanting some cashews and being price conscious, grabbed a cheap can that was a really good deal,  so I thought.  I looked at the label, and saw that they are genetically engineered!  What?  No thank you.  So, of course my next question is why, and after that, do they do this with all nut varieties?

It turns out that since nuts are a popular healthy food choice, the demand over the last 20 years or so has led to finding ways for suppliers, or growers, to keep up.  Foods that are grown with any GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are designed to alter DNA so that crops grow, produce, or even thrive more than what Mother Nature has given us.   But, if you’re like me, all you can think of is natural is natural, and anything else well….isn’t.



Another example of the quality in nuts has to do with nonpariel almonds.  Specifically, what does nonpariel mean?  Nonpariel almonds are smooth, and easily blanched, so they are the most attractive and uniform.  The word means “unparalleled” or “unsurpassed” It takes a lot to grow almonds, and Southern California’s climate offers the perfect place for growing them.  How great to have these nonpariel almonds readily available to us. Our absolute favorite are from Hopkins AG & it’s why we carry them to share with you.  To learn more about the challenges of growing nonpariel almonds, visit

almonds on a tree


You can certainly get wild grown nuts.  There are nuts that are not even farmed, and simply grown in the wild and harvested.  Pecans, chestnuts, and black walnuts are some of the nut varieties that you can find and pick for yourself.  Now that’s as natural as it gets!

wild nuts

Raw or Roasted

Raw foods are a favorite nutritional choice for many, but in the case of nuts, naturally dry roasted and raw are pretty much nutritionally equal.  But these are the two choices for the healthiest nuts.  Other methods can add fats or remove some of the nutrients.

raw nuts

Hungry for nuts now?  Head on over to the pantry page & choose from several flavors of almonds, pistachios,  Barukas, and natural nut butters.