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Vegan for the Holidays

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All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise

 Nut Gourmet

To order, click on the box below.

Nut Gourmet

Take a 3-minute guided video tour of The Nut Gourmet

It's Now Available!

Nut lovers rejoice! Finally a cookbook that not only features nuts as the focal point of the recipe, but debunks the myths that nuts are too fattening and not healthy to eat.

Over 150 gourmet, plant-based recipes showcase nuts in everything from sauces, soups, and spreads to entrees, salads, dressings, and desserts. You'll even learn how to make nutmilks, a delicious alternative to both dairy and soy milk for allergy diets.

The latest health studies have also revealed surprising results about how eating nuts can reduce your chance of developing heart disease. Nutritional profiles on each nut list protein, vitamin, and mineral as well as fatty acid composition and omega-3 fat content of each kind of nut.

You'll receive expert advice on how and when to purchase and store nuts and garner tips on cracking, toasting, garnishing, and blanching nuts. The Nut Gourmet will help you discover how nuts can contribute a wealth of flavor and satisfaction to your meals.

What They're Saying about The Nut Gourmet


Medical Professionals

"When nuts flavor a recipe, they bring many healthful benefits with them. This book shows how to use these botanical jewels intelligently, creatively, and tastefully."

    --Neal Barnard, M.D., President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; author of Foods That Fight Pain

The Nut Gourmet

"Zel Allen's The Nut Gourmet puts raw nuts back in the vegan diet scene and shows with a large assortment of tasty recipes why they never should have left. There are dozens of solid scientific references showing that, in spite of their high fat content, raw nuts and seeds promote weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, are protective against cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and even type II diabetes. This book could go a long way in restoring natural unprocessed plant fat to its rightful place in a healthy diet."

    -- Wiliam Harris, M.D., author of The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism

"The difference between children raised on healthy proteins like nuts, beans and seeds and those raised on cheese and beef is huge. This book will create healthier families and much healthier children!"

    -- Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, IBCLC, FABM, author of Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow

This book is a treasure. It is beautifully written, comprehensive and entertaining. It provides accurate, detailed information about the value of nuts in the diet, numerous practical tips, charts and tables, and dozens of mouth-watering recipes. It is a delightful cookbook, and a tremendous nutrition resource."

    -- Brenda Davis, R.D., author of Becoming Vegetarian.


Therefore, I give this book a 10 of 10!

Well, I must say I am very satisfied with The Nut Gourmet. I can't get enough of nuts, and this book provides so many different recipes in which I can use nuts of all kinds :-). I especially love how this book includes so much more than just recipes! It has nutritional facts for many kinds of nuts and also teaches how to crack, roast, and even sprout nuts. I've learned so much! Therefore, I give this book a 10 of 10! (If I were to make a complaint, I'd ask for more pictures, but that's a minor complaint) Oh, and I should probably give you a little background about the author, Zel Allen, too. She is presently spreading the message of a healthy vegan lifestyle by teaching vegetarian cooking classes at libraries, churches, etc. You can learn more about Zel and her husband on their website!

--Food, Fotos, Fun July 29, 2010

"The Nut Gourmet is an ideal and enthusiastically recommended specialty addition to personal and community library cookbook collections."

Nuts come in an incredible variety and are to be found as integral elements of every ethnic cuisine on the planet this side of the Eskimos. The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts For Every Occasion by Zel Allen is an amazing compilation of recipes that incorporate nuts in appetizers, breakfast dishes, soups, salads, main dishes, grains and legumes, sauces, sandwiches, vegetable dishes, relishes and condiments, spreads and dips, smoothies and beverages, desserts and confections. Beginning with a roster of great advice for the novice kitchen cook about the health benefits of nuts, buying and storing nuts, tips and tricks with their use, nut measurement equivalents, and 'The Nutcracker's Toolbox', The Nut Gourmet goes on to feature simply wonderful recipes that range from Pistachio Pea Pate; Poppy Seed Dressing; Sesame Nut Patties; and African Peanut Soup; to Raisin Walnut Bread; Cheezy Tofu Spread with Pine Nuts; Nutty No-Bake Pie Crust; and Very Berry Parfait with Macadamia Nuts. Enhanced for the novice with the color photography illustrations and the inclusion of a glossary, a resources list, and nutrition tables for nuts, The Nut Gourmet is an ideal and enthusiastically recommended specialty addition to personal and community library cookbook collections.

    -- Midwest Book Review March 2008

"Anyone who enjoys eating nuts will love to own a copy of The Nut Gourmet.

This vegan cookbook serves up almost 150 recipes featuring nuts, including appetizers, soups, dressings, spreads, entrées, and desserts.

"Among the unique offerings are Pistachio Pea Pâté, Mango Macadamia Soup, Strawberry Pine Nut Dressing, Pecan Praline Pumpkin Bread, Savory Cashew Cream Sauce, Hazelnut and Mushroom Curry, Cranberry Walnut Pie, and Cherry Almond Mousse.

"This book features several full-color photos, as well nutritional analyses for each recipe. There are also sections on storing, buying, cracking, and measuring nuts."

    -- Debra Wasserman. Vegetarian Journal. Vol. XXV, No. 4


Zel Allen's The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion is a must have for every vegan who loves food. It has a wealth of delicious recipes, and also offers indispensable information about shopping for, prepping, and storing nuts.

The mini-guide on the plentiful health benefits of nuts had me stunned. I can't believe I haven't been aware of the vast advantages these little gems offer. Not only are nuts a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc, but they also reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Now, don't go nuts making a four-course meal out of recipes in the book. Allen advises to keep your intake around 1.5 ounces each day, which is about a handful, roughly speaking, with minor variations depending on the nut.

I made the Cashew Mushroom Bruschetta, and it exceeded any expectations I had. The taste was great and unusual, preparation was easy and fast, and the instructions were clear and simple. Also, it is listed under appetizers, but after sharing the bowl with my husband we were both full and satisfied. Allen says that "Nuts provide a feeling of satiety when small amounts are added to the diet." This certainly proved true for us.

The book also has a nutrition table for nuts with information about protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Not only will this book inspire you to get cooking, but it will double as a reference guide as well.

Go on; explore the "most underestimated nutritional powerhouses in the diet" as Allen puts it perfectly. You won't be disappointed.

    --Moni Woweries. www.supervegan.com. August 15, 2006

Book Review: The Nut Gourmet by Zel Allen

Zel Allen, along with her husband, Reuben, runs the popular monthly 'zine Vegetarians in Paradise. Now she has come out with a wonderful new cookbook, The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion (Book Publishing Company). Nuts are an underused source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. In this vegan cookbook, Zel talks about the merits of nuts in the diet, and presents dozens of delicious recipes from soups to--well, nuts.

Chapters include appetizers, soups, salads, grains and legume dishes, sauces, sandwich, vegetable dishes, spreads and dips, desserts, and more. A plethora of cooking and storage tips and nutritional information make this a definitive guide. Included also are recipes for using pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds as well.

As the mother of two vegan teens of the male variety (that is, always hungry), this book is especially valuable to me. The boys were very active this past summer and I was always looking for ways to get some high-quality protein and calories into them. Nuts and nut butters provide one excellent way to do so. I sampled a number of recipes from the book, and plan to try lots more, as so many of these sound truly luscious. Cheezy Tofu Spread with Pine Nuts (see the entry on my blog http://blog.vegkitchen.com/2006/06/another-winner-from-the-nut-gourmet on this one, with a photo!), Peanut Butter Carob Pie, and Zesty Black Bean Patties were all hugely successful. Tonight I made Cool Quinoa Salad as part of a dinner for extended family--filled with peas, broccoli, red bell pepper, herbs, and pecans, it is a vigorous, delectable treat.

My only wish was that there would have been some recipes using store-bought natural nut butters. But hey, maybe that can be the sequel: The Nut Butter Gourmet, by Zel Allen. What do you think, Zel?

The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion

Nuts have one common thread that links their outstanding legacy of gastronomy: darned good nutrition! Recognizing them as a source of plant proteins, phytochemicals, essential fatty acids, fiber, and energy-boosting carbohydrates, Zel Allen takes nuts out of the bar and into the kitchen-restoring them to their rightful place as great contributors of zesty flavors and essential nutrients. Rather than standard recipes that merely feature a sprinkling of nuts, this book makes nuts the focal point of each dish. With a number of handy tables for quick reference or nutritional information, suggestions of tools and methods for cracking the toughest of nuts, and a gourmet recipe collection that opens the door to exciting cuisine, you'd be nuts not to check out this great read

    --Taste for Life. October 2006

Nut to You--And Everyone Else--for the Holidays

Ever wonder where the phrase "nuts to you" came from? How about "nutty" equaling "crazy"?

According to the Word Detective on the Internet, the use of "nuts" to mean "crazy" comes from the slang "nut" meaning "head," and is derived from the description of an addled person as being "off his or her nut."

These slang insults can also refer to our tendency to eat too many nuts, to binge on those toasted, salty, fat-laden morsels.

If you can control your appetite for nuts, you will find taste and health benefits abound in the wide range of nuts and seeds available. And the fat content is mono and polyunsaturated which means they're better for you than saturated animal fat.

Learn about the potential of nuts, not only as gifts and accompaniments to the main meal, but also as thickeners and flavourings in appetizers, main dishes, salads and dressings, desserts and smoothies.

The expert to show us how is Zel Allen, author to The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion. However, Allen echoes our words of caution: nuts are best eaten in moderation, with just a handful a day giving the best health benefits. Also, Allen urges us to beware of commercially roasted nuts which often contain hydrogenated oils and trans-fats. Eating nuts raw (especially after soaking overnight to bring them out of dormancy) or dry roasted are the healthiest ways to consume them, she says.

Did you know why some pistachios are red? Allen says it started in the 1930s when pistachios were imported from Iran and Turkey. Due to poor harvesting techniques, the shells were mottled brown and not appealing to American consumers.

An enterprising businessman decided to dye the pistachios red to hide the defects. American consumers fell for it and gobbled up the nutty gems. Now, most pistachios consumed in North America are grown in California and harvested in a way to prevent discolouration. Allen recommends buying the beige pistachios because of the toxic aspect of the red dye. When buying shelled pistachios, look for the deepest green for the most nutrition.

Each kind of nut provides a variety of minerals and vitamins. According to The Nut Gourmet, almonds excel in calcium and vitamin E, pecans give good zinc, Brazil nuts are highest in selenium, pistachios provide potassium, hazelnuts are loaded with copper, and cashews have good amounts of magnesium and zinc.

"Roasting chestnuts on an open fire…" is part of a Christmas song many of us grew up with. Allen says chestnuts are among her favourite nuts and she has mastered the challenge of opening them. The trick is to cut an "X" through the skin top and bottom first. Then roast them either over a fire or in a 350 F. oven--or boil in water--for 15 to 20 minutes. The hotter they are, the easier they are to peel, so cool slightly to wear gloves for peeling success.

While some of the recipes in The Nut Gourmet call for whole or chopped nuts and seeds, to get the most use out of this book you need a blender, food processor or coffee/nut grinder. That's when you can explore grinding a thickener for stew, making a paste for dessert delicacies or blending nuts and fruits to make a smoothie.

Here's a couple of recipes we've tried and found delicious: Mushroom Cashew Walnut Patties and Peanut Butter Carob Pie.

The Aquarian, A Journal for the New Millennium . Winter 2006

Health Benefits of Cashews and Pine Nuts

Zel Allen's The Nut Gourmet has many inventive recipes to boost protein and nutrients in your daily intake. I've tried "Gourmet Garden Loaf" and "Butternut Corn Cashew Soup" and they are excellent. Whether you're vegetarian, vegan or just love nuts, this is a great cookbook with a lot of tips on nutrition, purchasing and storing nuts.

Zel Allen's The Nut Gourmet is a great book for any cook. You will be able to boost nutrients and protein in your diet with these incredible recipes.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, or just love nuts, you'll find great tips on purchasing and storing nuts and lots of nutritional information.

Today's Women & Health http://www.todays-women-and-health.com

Excellent Way to Get Nuts in the Diet!

I love this vegan cookbook! It has good information about nuts and lots of yummy recipes! I hadn't used pistachios before finding the cookbook, but now I'm hooked!

    --E. Murray. www.amazon.com October 17, 2007

Everything You Wanted to Know about Nuts
--and So Much More

This is a delightful book, full of delicious recipes for every occasion. The book makes nuts come alive on your plate and in your palate! And it's written by someone with years of experience teaching people about great nutrition. It's a book for everyone.

    --Michael Anderson. www.amazon.com. March 19, 2007

Not just for Nut Lovers

Even if you don't love nuts (I do!), you're sure to enjoy this cookbook. Both recipes I've tried--Butternut Corn Cashew Soup and Gourmet Garden Loaf--were terrific and there are tons of other creative recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts. There are also helpful tips on buying, storing, and even cracking nuts, as well as nutrition information.

    --S. Payment. www.amazon.com. December 4, 2006

Nuts over This Book

Every recipe I've made has been a huge success. For active vegans, or anyone looking for offbeat ways to boost protein and nutrients in their daily intake, this book is ideal. It's also great for vegetarians and vegans who don't want to depend overly on soy. Healthy, easy, and inventive, these recipes add a great dimension to the daily diet!

    --Sara G. www.amazon.com. October 1, 2006

Flavorful, Innovative Recipes for All Nut Lovers

Zel Allen's cookbook is such a departure from much of the bland, unimaginative fare which passes for most meatless cooking. Nut meat is only the starting place, the centerpiece in some of the recipes and only one of many diverse ingredients in others.

Allen is clearly a cook who understands comfort food, and these recipes are complex, flavorful, imaginative, and satisfying. She offers creative substitutes for traditional staples such as "Artichoke Party Dip" and "Pecan Pie," and her "Almond Nut Loaf" will make you forget your longing for mom's meatloaf. Sure, maybe your mom never made Wasabi Pistachio Vegetable Aspic, but you'll wish she did.

Other standouts include "Butternut Corn Cashew Soup" and "Mango Macadamia Nut Soup," and her "New Moon Silk Dressing" is incredibly rich and flavorful. This is by no means just a cookbook for vegetarians (though all of the recipes are in fact vegan) and the meat eaters in your life will probably not even notice that these are vegetarian dishes--they're that good!

    --D. F. Coulter. www.amazon.com. August 16, 2006

A Gem of a Cookbook

There are lots of great, useable, delicious recipes in this book. One of the things that sets this book apart is the originality of the recipes. There are loads of recipes that you won't find anywhere else, such as pâtés made of pea and pistachio that are truly terrific. Doesn't matter if you are vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous--you'll find these well-written recipes easy to follow and sure to please.

    --R. Galford. www.amazon.com. June 20, 2006

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Nut Gourmet

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