5 Smart Ways to Use Up Leftover Nuts

published Apr 6, 2015
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Whether I buy nuts from the bulk bins or go for the pre-packaged bags, it’s inevitable that I end up with bits and pieces of everything, but never quite enough of one variety to use in a recipe — a few tablespoons of pistachios here, a spoonful of walnuts there, maybe a quarter cup of pecans.

My simple (and budget-friendly) solution?

Just blend them all together. There are plenty of recipes where a mixture of nuts works just as well, if not better, than a single variety.

There are a lot of recipes that don’t actually specify what type of nuts to use, and even for those that call for a specific variety, swapping it out for a blend is okay. What’s more important than type of nut is that you use the correct quantity specified in a recipe.

Here are a few places I can use up a mixed bag of leftover nuts.

5 Smart Ways to Use a Mixture of Leftover Nuts

1. Granola

Quite possibly the ultimate dumping ground for a mixture of leftover nuts. And while you’re at it, throw in the last of the coconut flakes and dried cherries that are in the pantry, too.

2. Quick breads and muffins

Sure, we all know and love banana-walnut muffins, but there’s no hard and fast rule that walnuts are the only nut that can be used. Pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios also work well. If you’re using larger nuts like whole almonds, it’s best to chop them into smaller pieces first.

→ Recipe: Banana-Nut Muffins

3. Crisps and crumbles

A few spoonfuls of chopped nuts make any crisp or crumble topping that much better.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is always better when toppings are involved. Gather up the leftover bits of nuts and dried fruit, and add them all in.

5. Salads

Nuts are great for adding another layer of texture to salads. They bring a hard, crunchy bite to go along with all those crisp veggies.

When you have a hodgepodge of leftover nuts, how do you use them up?