Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013
The Bulk Foods Section is a must-visit area of the store, especially during the holiday season, when dried fruits, nuts and other cooking and baking necessities are most essential. Load up with lots of these pantry staples and put them to use in some new seasonal recipes, including our highest-rated recipe for the season, Pear-Cranberry Crisp (pictured at right).
Nuts: shelled pistachios, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts
Seeds: pepitas, flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Fruits: apricots, cranberries, tart cherries, blueberries, figs, dates, apples, pineapple, mangoes, papaya, bananas and prunes
Snacks: wasabi peas, soy nuts, Kowalski's Honey Toasted Pecans, Kowalski's Praline Pecans and a variety of nut and snack mixes
Grains: several rices, oats, couscous and granolas
Good to Know
Lots of recipes call for toasted nuts. Toasting brings out the flavors in the nuts but also may help provide added crunch. Toast nuts or seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat or in a preheated 350° oven until fragrant and golden, stirring occasionally (3-5 min.). Stovetop toasting is recommended because it’s easier to keep your eye on them (and harder to forget about them!). Some nuts burn in a flash, and there is nothing worse than ruining an oftentimes pricey ingredient. Also, nuts are easier to smell on the stovetop, and a nutty aroma is a good indicator that they're ready. If you listen closely, some oilier nuts will even start to sizzle and sing (very, very quietly) when they're nearly done. While a faint golden color is easy to detect on some nuts, it's harder to see on others, so let your nose be your guide. Shake or stir your nuts frequently to ensure they toast evenly.
Selection and availability of products and ingredients vary by market.