Hazelnuts are a great-flavored and highly nutritious nut that are commonly put in sweet treats, spreads, and drinks. However, what nuts can you use to replace hazelnuts if you are running out of them while baking?
Let us help you with the best substitute for hazelnuts in the article below!
8 Best Substitutes For Hazelnuts That You Can Find At Home
When it comes to nuts similar to hazelnuts, almonds must be the number one candidate. Due to the similarities in appearance and texture between these two nuts, substituting hazelnuts with almonds is a safe option.
More about the similarity with hazelnut regarding the texture, almonds are crunchy unless you soak them or let them stay in a humid environment. For these shared characteristics, almonds can replace hazelnuts in dishes requiring the nuts’ crunchiness and shiny brown color.
However, there is one thing you must notice before substituting these two is their slight difference in flavor. While hazelnuts are sweet, almonds are a little bit salty and bitter. But the problem can be solved easily with the right method of flavor treating and depending on what dish you want to use almonds to replace hazelnuts.
In dishes where the slight difference in flavor isn’t important, like baked cinnamon apple fries or milkshake, frappuccino, etc., you can feel free to use almonds to replace hazelnuts.
Moreover, almonds contain good nutrients such as oil, butter, vitamin E, and lower calories and fat than hazelnuts. You might want to replace hazelnuts if you want to ensure the healthy ingredient factor or cut down the calorie intake.
Before substituting hazelnuts with almonds, make sure to blanch almonds thoroughly to remove their skin. Specifically, this action helps extract the bitterness out, so it will be easier for you to adjust the flavor later.
Pecans are another good candidate when it comes to substituting hazelnuts. Comparing these two nuts together, we can see that they likely share the same appearance.
However, the texture and flavor between these two may differ a little bit. Pecans are mostly used to substitute hazelnuts in baking because that’s when the difference is most neglected.
Pecans can also be used to alternate hazelnuts in other sweet dishes since they have the same sweet side as hazelnuts. Also, this kind of nut is easy to find anywhere in the market. If you think of a nut to replace hazelnuts in sweet dishes, pecans are perfect to choose from.
3. Macadamia Nuts
If you are looking for a nut that can cover the flavor and texture of hazelnuts with extra nutrients, macadamia nuts are what you are looking for.
Same as hazelnuts, macadamia also comes in a shell. Still, you will see that macadamia nuts’ shells are significantly harder and thicker than hazelnuts when comparing macadamia nuts vs hazelnuts.
A characteristic that makes macadamia nuts the perfect substitution for hazelnuts is the buttery content. Among all of the nuts listed in this list, macadamia nuts have the largest fat content in their nutrients so that they can make up to the buttery flavor of hazelnuts perfectly. Hence, the buttery characteristic in macadamia nuts can cover hazelnuts entirely without further adjustment in flavor.
When we compare the flavor, macadamia nuts are quite sweeter than hazelnuts. Bear in mind that macadamia nuts are sweeter, so the sweet level of your dish can rise while using macadamia nuts.
Please be mindful while using macadamia nuts if you are on a diet because they have a larger amount of fat content, which results in more saturated fat and calories. On the other hand, they are extremely beneficial for your health with their nutritional value like vitamins and minerals.
Despite how awesome macadamia nuts can act as a hazelnut meal substitute, these nuts can only be harvested and found at specific times and locations. So, you can expect macadamia nuts to be more exclusive, which results in a higher price.
4. Cashew Nuts
Cashews nuts are a cool option you can consider between many kinds of nuts. These Asian nut species are sweet, buttery, and crunchy at the same time, making it one of the spectacular nuts to use among dishes.
If you put cashew nuts and hazelnuts on the scale, you will see that they do not share many similarities, except for the flavor and the nutritious content. While both of them are sweet and pleasant to eat, the texture between these two nuts has a huge gap.
The hazelnuts are only crunchy, but the cashew nuts’ texture allows them to be crunchy and creamy at the same time. So cashew nuts are not the nuts to with if you are looking for a substitute for the crunchiness of hazelnuts.
If you are looking to substitute the nutrition of hazelnuts, then cashew nuts can gladly offer a high nutritional value. To be more specific, cashew nuts offer a higher fat and protein content, which is a perfect choice for people who wish to gain some weight.
Cashew nuts come in paste as well, like sesame paste. Thus, it can be used to substitute hazelnuts but with less crunchiness.
Walnuts resemble hazelnuts in most contents, especially the nutritional value in fat and protein. It is a great choice to substitute hazelnuts in savory dishes due to the similarities between the buttery content and the fat and protein.
Additionally, you can use walnuts to replace hazelnuts when you want to gain some healthy fat and protein other than different nutrients.
6. Hazelnut Oil/Extract/Butter
The perfect substitute for hazelnuts in recipe is hazelnuts themselves! But the substitution we are talking about is hazelnuts but in different shapes and characteristics.
Please bear in mind that the flavor these substitutes deliver remains the same, but you must check if their content is suitable to the dishes you plan to use as hazelnut similar foods.
Hazelnut oil is a liquid version of hazelnuts; peanut oil is a liquid version of peanut. More specifically, it offers the same nutritious level and flavor as hazelnuts in every recipe.
Hazelnut oil substitute can also contribute extra hazelnuts flavor in dishes to make them healthier with a slight bit of butter and sweetness from hazelnuts with no requirement at first hand.
Moreover, using hazelnut extract is a brilliant way to ensure the flavor of the nuts but acts as a lighter version of hazelnut oil. This is a decent method to get the flavor and smell with no additional calories or different supplements. It’s helpful for heating cakes, making frozen yogurt, or adding to frostings; however, it will not add any fats or proteins.
If you use hazelnut margarine or a hazelnut spread, you will get all the flavor, smell, and surprisingly healthy benefit of utilizing entire hazelnuts; notwithstanding, you will not get the crunchiness.
Oats, especially rolled oats, will be the simplest but effective solution for adding some nutty spice to the cooked food. However, to ensure that the oat will do a great job substituting hazelnuts, roasting them until brown is something you should do beforehand.
8. Sunflower Seeds Or Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds can substitute hazelnuts in salad or soup toppings because they offer the same crunchiness and buttery flavor. They are also a great offer to enjoy alone as snacks if you are too overwhelmed with hazelnuts.
How To Choose A Substitute For Hazelnuts?
When choosing a substitute for any food, we can never expect to have an exact copy of it. There will be some options that resemble the food we are trying to substitute; however, how can we choose the best suitable hazelnut alternative?
Let’s look back at the characteristics that hazelnuts have and dig in to find out suitable hazelnut alternative for your dish:
Hazelnuts are crunchy, so if you want to achieve the same crunchiness as hazelnuts, you must look for nuts that offer crunchiness. Considering the similarities in texture can help you find the perfect candidates to substitute hazelnuts.
From the list above, we consider that almonds, pecans, macadamia, walnuts are the choices you should go for if you want to achieve the crunchiness of hazelnuts in your recipes.
Hazelnuts are sweet and buttery nuts, so any nut that has sweet and fat content should be considered as a hazelnut substitute as well. The candidates for this requirement are pecans, macadamia, cashew nuts, and all the different-shaped extract of hazelnuts.
Finally, the nutrition level in hazelnuts is a thing we need to consider when finding substituting nuts. In this case, the flavor and texture do not need to be entirely alike, but the content matters more.
In this case, the best substitutes for hazelnuts, in this case, are cashew nuts, oats, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.