Using a Microwave to Toast Pecans and Other Nuts a how-to guide for toasting nuts such as almonds and pecans (and coconut, too) in a microwave oven. It’s so easy and quick!
WHY TOAST NUTS?
When a recipe calls for toasted nuts, it’s easy to be tempted to skip the toasting and just dump them straight into your cake or cookie dough. But it turns out that using the microwave to toast nuts or coconut is quick and easy, especially when you only need a small amount. The flavor difference is worth the trouble.
I confess that I used to ignore the toasting step when in a hurry. But it makes a huge difference in taste if the nuts are toasted. The only time I don’t toast is when they are part of a topping that will eventually be baked.
WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO SPECIFY SPECIFIC TIMES FOR MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS?
Microwaves are not standardized. Consequently, it’s impossible to give definitive times and levels that apply to everybody’s oven.
Newer microwaves are more powerful, and therefore, faster. You will need less time. Older microwaves will need more time because they have less power. Smaller microwaves usually have less power, even if they are brand new.
For this reason, don’t take the suggested times literally. Watch carefully until you know approximately how fast the nuts will cook in your specific microwave oven.
It won’t be long before you can follow your nose as the best guide. When I can smell that toasty flavor, it’s probably time to stir or pull them out.
WHAT CAN I TOAST IN A MICROWAVE?
I’m showing you almonds here but the same process works with pecan and cashews. Cashews work better when they are coarsely chopped because of their irregular shape.
You can do the same thing the same way with coconut. The time needed in the microwave will depend on how the coconut is cut, the amount of coconut, and the power of your microwave.
HOW CAN I STORE NUT OR COCONUTS?
Use a vacuum-pack system along with an every-day Mason jar and a two-part metal lid. If you have a full-size vacuum-pack machine, you only need a large mouth adapter like the white one seen below. In the absence of a full-size machine, a hand-held machine will work perfectly and doesn’t take up room on your kitchen counter.
MORE THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR MICROWAVE
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- 1 cup of nuts or
- 1 cup of coconut
- Evenly distribute nuts or coconut on a paper plate or micro-wave safe dinner plate.
- Cook on HIGH in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir.
- Repeat step #2 until nuts or coconut are nicely toasted.
Watch carefully as every microwave cooks a little bit differently. Nuts can go from perfect to burnt in a terrifying flash. Pick out any burned pieces. There are usually very few.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 38mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
This post was originally posted in 2009. Pictures and instructions have been updated.