Cedar (Pine) nuts are one of the most valuable and expensive nuts in the world. They have unique nutrient content and really great taste.
Biologically, cedar nuts are not nuts, despite their name. Actually, cedar nuts are seeds of Siberian cedar (Pinus Sibirica), habitat of which is Eastern and Western Siberia territories.
In turn, Siberian cedar is not relevant to real cedars (Lebanese, Himalayan and Atlas) whose seeds are inedible. It is a bright representative of pine trees. Some people thought the tree has received that name from Russian pioneers. Following the adoption of Christianity the Bible became the main book in the country. Lebanese cedar often mentioned in the Bible as a majestic tree with pleasant tar aroma. Therefore it’s no wonder when Russian researchers first saw the mighty Siberian giant they named it Cedar. Its appearance reminded them the “Sacred tree” from the Bible.
Siberian cedar is evergreen coniferous tree grows to a height of 40-50 meters and has a very thick crown. The life expectancy of mighty tree may be as high as 500-800 years. Cedar begins to bear seeds at the age of 20-40 years. Cones grow about 12-15 months. The average yield of single tree is about 10 kilos per year (good harvest is 20-25 kilos; poor harvest is less 5 kilos).
It is also worth mentioning the cedar grows in ecologically clean areas without using of chemical fertilizers. Siberian cedar nuts are only natural product. It is very important in our time of artificial food.
Based on the foregoing, cedar nuts and processed its products (cedar nut oil, cedar nut oilcake) are very popular around the world despite their high price. Due to reach taste cedar nuts are widely used in cooking. Due to of useful content they are used in medicine and cosmetology.
Externally, cedar nuts are not big grains of pale yellow color. Grains are in tough brown shells. These grains have creamy nuts flavor and pleasant pine fragrance. Cedar nuts content includes a lot of fat acids. Kernels of nuts have a buttery texture because their content includes a lot of fat acids.
The caloric content of the cedar nuts is, on average, 650 Kcal per 100 gm of product.
The share of proteins is around 17%. In proteins there are 19 amino acids, including essential acids (lysine, methionine, tryptophan).
The kernel of cedar nut contains up to 70% of fat acids (Omega-3; Omega-6; Omega-9). At that, because of the fat acids are in the perfect ratio the cedar nut oil is the most useful of all the vegetable oils.
Cedar nut content includes about 10% of carbohydrates, simple and complex, that’s necessary for normal body works (glucose, sucrose, fructose, fiber and starch).
A lot of macro- and microelements are the main part of the cedar nuts and in full cover the requirement of a human organism in these elements. And the human’s system assimilates them very nice. These elements: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, molybdenum, silicon, aluminum, iodine, boron, nickel, cobalt, strontium, silver, sulfur, tin, barium, vanadium.
Cedar nuts content includes vitamin A, C, E, K and group B as well. And it is very important that vitamins are easily absorbed by the human body.
For healthy children development. Cedar nuts are very useful for the children and the pregnant women. The cedar nut content includes vitamins A, B and amino acid such as arginine that’s so necessary for a child organism.
For the nervous system. The cedar nuts have very good influence on the nervous system because of reach content of vitamins B and calcium. Cedar nuts composition includes a big quantity of tryptophan. Our brain produces serotonin from that amino acid. In this regard the use of the cedar nuts has a positive effect on our mood, helps with depression.
For the cardiovascular system. The cedar nuts are a strengthening and toning remedy which improves the work of the heart and strengthens the walls of the blood vessels. The high in vitamin E will help with the blood and avoid clotting or even atherosclerosis. Potassium normalizes heart rate. Also calcium and vitamins B are very important for the health of the heart and the blood vessels.
For normalizing blood composition. Regular eating of the cedar nuts improves the blood chemistry. Vitamin B3 regulates the blood formation, copper help to produce red blood cells, molybdenum contributes to prevent against anaemia, vanadium regulates cholesterol level, calcium normalizes blood clotting, iron takes part in the producing of hemoglobin.
For the brain. Cedar nut content includes copper and boron which increase the brain activity to prevent age-related changes.
For visual acuity. Cedar nuts have a property to keep and even increase the visual acuity. It is because of a big amount of vitamin B2 in the cedar nuts composition.
For tissue regeneration. Regular cedar nut eating induces the quick wound healing because of a high content of zinc and magnesium. Vitamin B2 stimulates tissue formation in a human organism. Magnesium is a very important component of soft tissue. Iron is a important component of blood protein.
For skin condition. If you add the cedar nuts in your daily ration your skin will be great. The cause of this is a very high content Omega (fat acids). Regular consumption of cedar nuts helps to treat any dermatological deceases.
For healthy joints and bones. Cedar nuts contain all the necessary microelements for normal formation and strengthening of bones, cartilages and even dental enamel: calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphor, zinc and silicon.
For the sportsmen. Cedar nut consumption helps to withstand intensive physical loads more successfully. Vitamin E increases muscle activity. Such components as phosphor, boron and vitamin B3 improve the physical endurance at times of high loads.
For metabolism. Molybdenum provides support to carbon and fats metabolism. In turn, manganese helps to absorb glucose properly. Iodine is a necessary element for the normal work of the thyroid. Potassium regulates water balance of the body. Vitamins B1 and B3 take part in the conversation food to energy.
For the digestive system. B vitamins (in particular B1, B2, B3) and vitamin E ensure the fully work of the digestive system and good health of mucous membranes. Cedar nuts help to treat such deceases as a stomach or duodenal ulcer.
For hormonal balance. Because of reach content, cedar nuts help to protect of reproductive health, stimulate the producing of hormones and normalize the endocrine system work.
For men’s health. Regular cedar nut consumption increases the male potency. It is because of high zinc content which improves the prostate work.
For weight loss. Cedar nuts, despite their caloricity, can help to solve overweight problems (but no more than 50 gm a day). They stimulate the producing of cholecystokinin, the hormone of satiety. It leads to more rapid saturation, as a result less volume of food contributes to weight loss.
Applications in cosmetology
For cosmetic purposes the using of the cedar nut oil is more common than the use of cedar nuts. And it can be said that this magic oil has not equal within other oils in the content of useful elements.
You can see more information about cedar nut oil and its using in cosmetology here.
Applications in cooking
The use of the cedar nuts in cooking is very different. Because of its pleasant flavor, this unusual nut is a component of many dishes.
The cedar nuts are go nicely with practically any products. They can be added as a seasoning to different meat and fish dishes to make their taste richer. The edar nuts have a property to change the taste of usual food.
The cedar nuts are a popular ingredient of many sauces to give them a pleasant nut flavor. For example, famous sauce “Pesto” is made exactly with cedar nuts. And though the classic Italian receipt uses as nut ingredient pionilly, the seeds of Italian pine, the cedar nuts are worthy substitute for its Italian brothers.
Besides, the cedar nuts are often added to different salads, especially vegetarian. The thing is nutritional value of the cedar nuts is the same as meals. In this regards the cedar nuts are especially useful for the vegetarians and those people who’s on a diet. Even a usual vegetable salad will be more saturate, if to add to it a small handful of nuts.
Another way in the cooking use of the cedar nuts is preparing of all sorts of desserts. The chopped nuts can be added into the cookie dough and cream cakes. The whole or chopped cedar nuts can be nice decorating for any dessert. In Siberia such sweet delicacies as cedar nuts with honey, cedar nuts in cedar or pine syrup are very popular.
The cedar nuts in cooking can be used in a raw form, but it is preferable to fry them a little bit on a stove without oil. When heated, the cedar nuts emit the oil and its taste will be so bright.
Personal intolerance to components.
Childhood. It is not worth to give the cedar nuts to children under 2-3, they can choke on small kernel. Besides, small children often have an allergy to cedar nuts because you should put the cedar nuts on child menu very carefully.
Excessive consumption. You should eat the cedar nuts just in small amount (no more that 50 gm a day). Excessive consumption of cedar nuts can harm the health:
- Because of cedar nuts high caloricity, their excessive consumption causes weight gain;
- Cedar nuts abusing can cause a bitter taste in your mouth. It takes some time until the taste is restored (from 2 days to 2 weeks).
Jointly use the cedar nuts and meat or dairy. All this products have high protein content and their regular joint use makes high load for the digestive system.
Gluten. You must know cedar nuts content includes gluten (despite it not big amount) because very many people have an allergy to it.
The consumption of spoiled or poor cedar nuts. It could be the reason of food poisoning.
The reasons of poor quality
- If the cedar nuts are past their shelf life; improper storage of the cedar nuts. It makes the cedar nuts rancid resulting in a poisoning.
- Artificial cultivation of the cedar nuts. During this process the chemicals and pesticides are usually used.
How to choose the cedar nuts right
- Fresh and high quality cedar nuts don’t have rancid or another chemical smell. The natural cedar nuts have only fresh pine fragrance.
- The nuts don’t have dirty yellow color. The nuts color is lighter the better.
- If you fracture the nut the inside of it will be fresh and light. If you broke the fresh nut you will hear small crackle. In this it it’s not crumble.
- The fresh cedar nuts must be a little moisture. If cedar nuts are too dry it’s mean they are old.
Storage terms and shelf life
Unshelled cedar nuts
The unshelled cedar nuts should be stored in dry and cold place. This site also should be protected from sunlight that makes the nuts rancid.
The cedar nuts should be stored in special polymer bags surface of which is membranes that let the minimum of the air but don’t let the moisture. If you have no packaging like that, you can use canvas bags and similar.
Under these conditions unshelled cedar nuts can be stored up to 2 years.
Shelled cedar nuts
The cedar nut kernels should be stored in a glass container under a cover. You should screw a lid up not completely in order for the cedar nuts were not choked. The lid can be replaced by any piece of fabric.
Shelf life of the shelled cedar nuts is no more than 3 months.
An ideal place for storage as unshelled as shelled cedar nuts is a fridge.
If you would like to double the shelf life of your cedar nuts you can store them in a freezer. For that, kernels of the cedar nuts should be placed in a sealed plastic packet for freezing of products. But, attention! It should be taken into account the defrosted kernels of the cedar nuts lose their taste but they can be used in cooking.