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How to Crack Nuts. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E and protein, but watch out for the fat content. Cracking them can be tricky, so follow these hints to make it a little easier on yourself.
Freeze nuts, especially Brazil nuts, or soak them in water for several hours before cracking.
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Stand frozen nuts with the point facing up and hit with a hard object, such as a hammer, to crack.
Crack soaked nuts with a nutcracker. Place the nut in the grip of the nutcracker so that the seam of the shell is subjected to the direct force.
Use minimum force necessary to split the shell when squeezing, in order to avoid crushing the nut kernel inside. Rotate the nut while squeezing so the shell cracks slowly.
Extract the kernel from the shell.
Allow the kernels of soaked nuts to dry for a few hours after cracking.
Crack nuts of the same size in batches, to speed up the process. Check a few of the previously soaked nuts to make sure they have completely dried before storing. Store shelled nuts in an airtight container in a cool area, such as the refrigerator. Keep in mind, however, that the best way to store nuts is unshelled. Toast shelled nuts in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they smell toasty. Don't burn them!