By Tami Weiser
When it comes to nuts, freshness is key for both nutrition and taste. And the simplest way to guarantee freshness is to buy where tons of nuts are routinely sold, so you have the fastest inventory turnover. That makes Costco a very good bet — just think of the sheer volume of nuts they must sell!
Of course, another thing Costco has going for it is consistently-accessible prices. And, so long as you store them properly, buying those giant canisters doesn’t have to mean you’ll be eating nuts day and night. Store them well and you’ll be enjoying fresh and cheap nuts for months.
1. Kirkland Signature Unsalted Extra-Fancy Mixed Nuts, $17.50 for 2.5 lbs.
This collection features a diversity of flavors and textures, which is so often what you want when you go to grab a handful of nuts. With no sodium, no trans fats, no cholesterol, and no added sugars, you can gobble without guilt — and know that you’re also getting some protein, fiber, and iron, to boot.
2. Kirkland Signature Walnuts, $13 for 3 lbs.
High in omega-3s and low in saturated fat, walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. For some, they can be a bit bitter (it’s the skin, which is high in flavonoids) — although, interestingly you’ll often find walnuts in recipes with other bitter foods, like chocolate and bitter greens. Costco walnuts are from California, which is the principal growing region for walnuts in the U.S., and they are English walnuts, which are considered to be less bitter. Personally, we find them to be meaty, sustaining, and ideal for adding heft, crunch, and depth to sides, salads, muffins, and more.
3. Kirkland Signature Pecan Halves, $12 for 2 lbs.
In the South, pecans (it’s puh-KAHN not PEE-can, if you please) are queen. Relative to other nuts, they’re softer, with a rich and creamy texture and a delicate sweetness. But rest assured, there’s just one gram of sugar per serving. In fact, pecans have the lowest carbs per serving, the most fiber per serving, and more flavonoids than any other nut. They’re a also good source of hearty-healthy fats and zinc. They are terrific when you’re craving something sweet, toasted and added to a salads, or soaked to make one heck of creamy milk or custard base (like cashews, but sweeter and deeper in flavor).
4. Kirkland Signature Supreme Whole Almonds, $13 for 3 lbs.
For just over $4 dollars per pound, you get large, plump almonds with a whopping 6 grams of protein per serving. They’re also high in vitamin E and a good source of calcium, iron and potassium. Eating a few midday may help balance your blood sugar, so reach for these when you get the afternoon munchies.
5. Kirkland Signature Organic Whole Cashews, $20 for 2.5 lbs.
Cashews make the most incredible, satisfying, and creamy milks, creams, and cheese. Their mild flavor makes them easy to love at any age — not to mention they’re a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese.