Hazelnuts, also known as filberts or cobnuts, are one of the oldest agricultural crops. They are believed to have originated in Asia, and then spread to Europe. The primary growers or hazelnuts today are Turkey, Spain, Italy and the U.S.
Hazelnuts grow in clusters on the Common Hazel (typically a shrub that is native to Europe and Asia). The nut grows within a fuzzy outer husk that opens as it ripens to reveal the shell of the hazelnut; the hazelnut or filbert is the edible kernel or seed of the nut that is surrounded by a dark brown skin.
Used largely in the baking and confectionery industries for its sweet, rich flavor, hazelnuts are fast becoming a nut on which to snack. This distinctively flavorful nut is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and heart healthy B vitamins. Rich in unsaturated fats (mostly oleic acid) and calcium. Hazelnuts are good for your heart, help reduce the risk of cancer, and aid in muscle, skin, bone, joint and digestive health.
Whether adding hazelnuts to a recipe, having a spoonful of hazelnut butter, indulging in the chocolate covered variety, or just eating them roasted and salted, be sure that you are also providing yourself with heart healthy goodness.