Sometimes you feel like a nut… but then the nuts you get are covered in salt, and you don’t like them that way. That’s a shame. Everybody deserves a snack they can enjoy.
Interestingly, even though salted nuts are popular, they aren’t necessarily at their most flavorful or nutritious. The truth is, nuts contain enough salt on their own to provide a healthy amount of sodium and a kick of taste.
There’s no need to salt them further. But still the practice continues. What can you do when someone gives you salted nuts? Is there any way to remove the salt?
It is possible to remove any added salt from nuts. However, it’s important to follow a specific food hack in order to get the best results. It is not possible to remove natural salt from standard nuts.
What is the food hack?
For this, you will need a few supplies:
- Paper towels
- A bag
- A little bit of energy
Take the salted nuts and put them in the bag. Ball up the paper towels and throw them in, too. Now you have a bag of salted nuts and crumpled paper towels. Congratulations.
You aren’t going to stop there. Next, shake the bag vigorously. Don’t let anybody’s raised eyebrow stop you. Keep shaking. Eventually, you’ll find that most of the added salt has rubbed off onto the paper towels.
And if all that bag shaking made everyone else leave? Well, you can finally enjoy your nuts in peace.
Can’t I just wash them?
Technically, yes. Water will help remove the salt. The problem with washing nuts is that they’ll become soggy.
There are two methods when it comes to using water. The first is soaking, and the second is rinsing.
Dunk your salted nuts in a bowl of room-temperature water and let them soak for a few hours. While they’re in there, the salt will begin to dissolve in the water. Some of it will remain on the nuts, but most of it will become absorbed in the water of the bowl.
When you’re ready to eat them, remove them from the water and place them on a cooking pan. There, you can toast them in the oven at about 350 degrees F [about 176.7 Celsius] for around ten minutes to help dry them out.
If you don’t have a few hours to let them soak, or if you don’t like the way your nuts taste after a few hours in water, try rinsing instead. This is just what it sounds like. Hold them under the faucet for a minute or two, letting water run all over them. This should remove the worst of the added salt.
Still, these may need to be toasted before you eat them. Even a little water can affect the texture of nuts.
What if I just bake them?
Baking is another option that will provide some results. Some of the salt will be baked into the nuts, but some will come off in the oven. Put them on a baking sheet and bake at about 350 degrees F [around 176.7 Celsius] for ten minutes, or until they look good.
Are there any other methods?
There are a few. Of course, remember that anything you do beyond shaking nuts in a bag with paper towels is bound to affect the taste and texture of the nuts. Your mileage may vary with these methods. Proceed with caution if you’re particular about your nuts.
- Rinse the pistachios in vinegar. This will help to remove salt from the surface of the pistachios.
The Milk Method
Some nut fans swear that soaking nuts in milk will help draw the salt out from within the nuts. If you’re really in the mood for adventure, or if you really can’t go another minute without salt-free nuts, give this a try.
Remember to toast them afterward so they aren’t soggy. Also, be prepared for a milky taste.
The Freezer Method
Other nut fans are adamant that the freezer is the key to unsalting nuts. Put them in overnight so they truly freeze, then bring them out to thaw before you eat them.
The Vinegar Method
As with the Milk Method, this is bound to change the taste of your nuts. However, fans of unsalted nuts have declared that a vinegar rinse will quickly remove any offending salt on top of your nuts. Of course, they will be covered with vinegar. You will likely want to rinse them again in water to remove some of that taste.
Are salted nuts bad for you?
Technically, they aren’t considered “heart-healthy” foods because the added salt is more than your body needs for basic nutrition. Of course, every person has different nutritional needs, so people will have to make this decision for themselves based on what they know about their sodium levels.
However, generally, it is considered safer and healthier to eat unsalted nuts whenever possible. Nuts are healthy! But adding salt tips the balance in the wrong direction, especially when it comes to cardiac health.
If possible, reach for unsalted nuts to begin with. In the unfortunate event someone has handed you salted nuts, you’ll have to make a decision. You can either do without that snack, or you can try one of the methods described above.
Keep in mind that these methods aren’t going to be able to remove 100% of the salt. They’ll just take off the worst of it.