Zimbabwe’s report of a bumper harvest in the current agricultural season is far-reaching. You can expect pumper harvests are many crops that were not singled out for praise and this includes nuts. With that in mind, it’s expected that we will have farmers or manufacturers looking for ways to process and hence preserve nuts. There are a few interesting ways to process nuts which produce very popular products loved around the world. If you want a few ideas on ways you can process nuts then you are in the right place.
There is of course a little confusion in the world of nuts. Nuts by definition are seed pods that grow on the branches of trees, with the shell integrated with the fruit. Examples are macadamia, walnut, pecans, cashew and hazelnuts. So this probably leaves you wondering where peanuts and round nuts stand in all this. Growing from the roots of their plants these are actually legumes. For this article, the distinction between these will not be observed, a nut is a nut. With that established let’s look at the ways you can process nuts to preserve or value add to them.
The concept of non-animal milk is not new at all. Soy milk, oat milk, rice milk for example are all milk substitutes that are made from plants. These are popular with groups such as vegans, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant. A very popular plant-based milk product that is made from a nut is almond milk. Almond nuts produce a milk substitute that has proven popular the world over. One topic that has been a big talking point in terms of business is what exactly Zimbabwe imports. Products such as almond milk are currently imported and this makes them more costly to the end consumer. Producing locally could result in a win-win situation for those who need plant milk and a manufacturer.
We’ve spoken about conserves before and how they use some nuts in them. Nuts like pecans and almonds are very popular in conserves. You can find many different combinations and recipes that use nuts in them. Finding one that uses something like peanuts is not totally far fetched in my estimation. For those who don’t know you can think of conserves as speciality jams that combine whole fruits and not just syrup with nuts and other additional herbs and spices for flavour.
We all know and hopefully love peanut butter but are you aware that there is a whole world of other nut butter out there? That’s right, even though peanuts are technically not nuts you can put nuts through the same process and come out with a similar result. Sometimes an even better result. Popular nut butters are made from almond nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts. You are likely looking at an export market for these but there’s no reason you wouldn’t be able to count on significant local business.
Another great product that comes from nuts and seeds, in general, is oil. Nut oils are very popular around the world despite their sometimes relatively demanding price tags. Almond oil, hazelnut oil and walnut oil are examples of very popular nut oils. Others like peanut oil should not be underestimated. They are usually used for additional flavour rather than as the main oil. You will find many uses for them outside of culinary application so it may take a bit of research to see your possible use cases.
Snack bars are very popularly food items. Whether you approach them from a junk food or health food perspective. Nuts, because of their nutritional profile are favoured as snacks. So you will find things such as chocolate bars favour nuts. It doesn’t just stop there though. Peanut brittle is a very popular snack bar. You can also have snack bars that contain healthier options like almonds.
Of course, nuts are a great food in their own right and you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking about simply roasting or drying them and packaging them for resale. There’s a lot to think about in this regard so you will not only need to do a lot of research but also a lot of product-market testing. Salted, plain, sweetened, mixed with dried fruits and so on. The possibilities are plenty.
There you have some ways to process the humble yet versatile nuts that we know and love. You could make your mark with any one of these if you find the right market.