Have You Tried Pili Nuts?

A nutritionist gives the skinny on the most delicious nut you’ve never heard of.

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496153040

Photo by: marekuliasz

marekuliasz

Have you heard about the newest trend in nuts? Pili nuts may be off your radar now but that’s all about to change. Find out more about the newest nut on the food scene.

What Are Pili Nuts?

Grown in volcanic soil in the Philippines, pili nuts look like slightly shriveled shelled almonds only with more defined and pointed ends. These elegant looking nuts have a soft texture and taste similar to sunflower seeds. Roasting these nuts bring out their more complex, creamy and pleasantly chewy attributes.

Pronounced "peel-ee," these nuts are commonly used for snack and baked goods in Southeast Asia, but they are becoming easier to find in the U.S. The big question is: do they live up the superfood hype?

Nutritional Merits

One ounce of pili nuts (about 15 pieces) contains 200 calories, 22 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. Pili nuts pack in the vitamins and minerals, boasting impressive amounts of thiamin, Vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. These little nuts even contain 4 to 6% of your daily needs of calcium and iron, respectively. These also provide an unusually high amount of saturated fat, the type of fat known to increase "bad" LDL cholesterol so folks with high cholesterol or at risk for heart disease should keep portions modest.

Where to Find Pili Nuts

Buy pili nuts in bulk packages online or in health food stores for about $3 to $4 per ounce. They are available plain, raw or salted and in a variety of flavors including chili, garlic, ranch and even pizza. Nuts of any flavor can be enjoyed as a snack by themselves or incorporated into granola, snack mixes and baked goods.

There are a few other pili products other than dry nuts to try. Look for jars of Pili Hunters’ blended nut butter, a mixture of pili nuts, oil and salt. For a thick and creamy, dairy-free yogurt alternative, try Lavva vegan yogurt — made with a base of blended coconut, plantains and pili nuts.

Once you’ve settled on your favorite way to eat pili nuts, be sure to store them properly. For best results store nuts and nut butter in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. For extended shelf life, store in the refrigerator.

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