Millions of bags are nuts are sold in England, the most popular being supermarket brands, KP and Marmite-covered cashews. These brands are small and artisan, and made without palm oil. Nuts and seed are high in protein and calcium but also very high in fat, so keep to small bags! Also see vegan chocolate-covered nuts.
Most nut bags can’t be recycled, so ask your local recycling plant. You can set up a community recycling scheme with Terracycle if wished, and the points earned can be turned into money for local schools or charities. Or better yet, use some of the non-plastic nuts below.
Many nuts (and dried fruits) are toxic to pets, as is chocolate. Use a letterbox guard if ordering online for these treats, if you live with pets. Conkers are also toxic to pets, so never let dogs play with them. Call your vet if you think your dog ate one.
Nuts are Choking Hazards
To help prevent choking in children or people with swallowing difficulties, sit up straight while eating, and avoid eating on the move. NHS says nuts are ok for pregnancy, but not for allergies or medical conditions. If a relative (like a father has an allergy), you may wish also to avoid for safety. Other choking hazards are:
- Nut & seed butters
- Cherry tomatoes
- Corn kernels
- Grapes & dried fruits
- Hard sweets
- Melon balls
- Crisps & crackers
- Marshmallows & gum
- Chips & popcorn
- Granola bars
- Carrot sticks & veggie hot dogs (cut lengthwise and then again)
Why Do Some Say Nuts Aren’t Vegan?
Some journalists have said that because certain crops are pollinated (like wasps die when pollinating figs) certain food are not vegan. And although there is truth in being careful around avocados, for the most part, choosing brands that ethically harvest food does no more harm than any other foods (it’s the huge agricultural farmers who harvest Californian almonds to be wary of). Just try to eat local hand-harvested foods if you can.
This post explains the issues, noting that the same journalists never mention that alfalfa (used as animal feed) also uses targeted pollination. There are issues but ethical farmers are working on them. And ultimately simple living (not taking more than you need) is the answer to almost every environmental problem. Eating a bag of ethical nuts is not doing as much harm as companies buying bags of unethical nuts, then throwing them away.
- Brazil nuts are from South America. Nutritionists suggest eating two daily to get your selenium.
- Pecans are more popular in America, for pecan pie.
- Almonds are often used to make frangipane and Bakewell Tart.
- Chestnuts are often roasted in Italy at street stalls.
- Pistachios are addictive, but need to be shelled, before eating.
- Cashew nuts are very buttery, good for a sweet tooth. Often used to make vegan butters and cheeses.
- Peanuts are the cheapest, but often covered in salt.
- Walnuts look like a brain, also good for it!
Where to Find Good Nuts
Cracking Nuts (Devon) sells in plastic-free tubs, jars and gift boxes, with refills. Ad-on ingredients are locally grown, where possible. Roasted overlooking the sea to Wales! Includes cinnamon vanilla.
- Nutmad makes activated nuts, which are easier to digest. They are soaked then dried to make them crunchy again. Includes almonds with sea salt, walnuts with salted caramel and maple-sweetened or rosemary-flavoured nuts.
- The Woolf’s Kitchen (London) offer Thai-inspired nuts created by a chef who trained at Leith’s. The range includes smoky beast almonds and crafty cocoa peanuts (the sticky cayenne mix is not vegan).
- By the River Eats (Scottish borders) offers artisan pecans, drizzled with salted caramel.
- The Tiger Nut Company sells rhizomes (not really nuts) from Spain that can be used to make Tiger Nut GRR-NOLA!
Liberation Nuts is a community interest company, where the people that grow the nuts you eat, own the company. Choose from bags of Chilli & Lime Cashews or Salted Peanuts & Cashews. The company also makes a palm-oil-free peanut butter jar.