"Never eat more than you can lift."
— Miss Piggy
What's the difference between a hazelnut and a filbert? They're basically the
same nut... but not exactly. Technically, the hazelnut is raised
in Oregon and Washington on a bush that produces the nuts in late October. No
where else on earth is a commercial hazelnut crop grown.
The filbert is a cousin of the hazelnut. The name filbert was used because
the nut is found in Turkey, Greece, and Italy ? all Mediterranean countries
and all tied to Christianity. The filbert bush blooms in February on St.
Filbert's day (from an early Christian martyr known as St Philibert,) and
the name "filbert" was a local term for the plant. The
name was extended to the nut and over 90% of the world crop of filberts/hazelnuts
is grown in these countries and exported throughout the world.
The filbert is a smaller nut and many bakers in other countries grind them
up to use as a powder ingredient for breads and pastries when the almond
prices are high. In 1995 the official name "hazelnut" was given to allay
confusion on the world market.
One ounce ? a generous handful ? delivers a mere 4.7 grams of carbohydrate, more
than half of which is fiber. Hazelnuts are also rich in vitamin E. And their
protein gets high marks, since it's loaded with the amino acid arginine, which
protects arteries from injury and stops blood clots from forming. Its fat,
alpha-linolenic acid is converted in the body into omega-3 fatty acid, the same
kind that's in fish oil. This is one healthy nut, and versatile too, since, like
almonds, pecans, and macadamias, it can be ground to make an excellent fine "flour"
for low carb baking and cooking. Add butter and sweetener to hazelnut flour and
press into a pie plate to top with cheesecake, cream pies, or whatever you dream
Hazelnuts are usually packaged whole, though some producers are now also offering them
chopped, and even ground ? a real timesaver. Hazelnuts have a sometimes bitter brown skin
that is best removed, usually by heating them at 350?F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the
skins begin to flake. By placing a handful of nuts at a time in a dish towel, then
folding the towel over the warm nuts and rubbing vigorously, most of the skin will
Here's one of my favorite hazelnut recipes!
Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Cheesecake
Copyright © June 2005 Low Carb Luxury
This makes a huge cheesecake and is an excellent choice for a dinner party
Place oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375?F.
Set aside a 9-inch springform pan and a large roasting pan. Bring a kettle
of water to a boil for the water bath.
- 6 8-oz. Packages Regular Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup Splenda
- 3/4 cup erythritol or maltitol
- 3 Tablespoons Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
- 4 Eggs
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1 1/2 cups Raw Hazelnuts, chopped
- DaVinci Gourmet Sugarfree Orange or Raspberry Syrup (optional)
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese
until smooth. Slowly add sweeteners until combined. Blend mixture on high
speed until light and fluffy, (7-10 min.) Reduce speed to low and add
cocoa slowly until blended. Stop and scrape sides and bottom of bowl
with a rubber spatula to make sure the mixture is completely combined.
With the mixer on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating until
just incorporated and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Remove
mixer from bowl, and fold in orange zest and hazelnuts.
Pour batter into the springform pan. Set roasting pan on even rack, set
the springform pan in it, and pour enough boiling water into roasting
pan to come halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until the
perimeter of the cake is set but the center slightly jiggles when pan
is tapped, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (If the top begins to darken too much,
cover lightly with foil and finish baking). The cheesecake may rise
above the springform rim but will settle when cooling.
Remove from oven to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover with
plastic wrap. You may need to insert 2 to 3 toothpicks in cheesecake to
keep the plastic wrap from touching surface. Refrigerate until well
chilled, at least four hours, preferably over night.
Serve each slice in a pool of DaVinci Gourmet Sugarfree Orange or
Raspberry Syrup. This cheesecake is also excellent topped with a melted
low carb chocolate bar, spread thin.
Makes 26 servings — 6.5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.