Pine nuts are the edible seeds of several species of pine trees. Pine nuts are sometimes called pignoli, pinoli, or piñón depending on where you are located in the world. In the United States, pine nuts are easily found in most markets and are included in a wide variety of recipes.
|Pine Nut Nutrition Facts|
|Serving Size 1 ounce (28g)|
|Per Serving||% Daily Value*|
|Calories from Fat 174|
|Total Fat 19g||29%|
|Saturated Fat 1.4g||7%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 9.5g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5.3g|
|Dietary Fiber 1.1g||4%|
|Vitamin A 0.2% · Vitamin C 0.4%|
|Calcium 0.5% · Iron 8.7%|
|*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet|
Carbs in Pine Nuts
A single serving of pine nuts is 1 ounce—or about 167 seeds. This serving size contains just under 4 grams of carbohydrate. Most of the carbohydrate in pine nuts is sugar (about 1 gram) and fiber (about 1 gram). A small amount is starch. This same serving size (1 ounce) contains 191 calories. If you eat 10 nuts or seeds, you’ll consume about 11 calories, according to USDA data.
Pine nuts are often used in recipes, although some people consume them alone. If you do consume them alone, you may not even reach 167 nuts.
The estimated glycemic load of pine nuts is 0 if you consume a 1-ounce serving.
Fats in Pine Nuts
Most of the calories in pine nuts come from fat. There are 19 grams of fat in a full serving. Most of the fat is polyunsaturated fat (almost 9.5 grams), considered to be a healthy form of fat. There is a smaller amount of monounsaturated fat (5.3 grams) and (1.4 grams) of less healthy saturated fat.
Protein in Pine Nuts
Pine nuts provide just under 4 grams of protein per serving.
Micronutrients in Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are a very good source of vitamin K, providing about 19 percent of your daily needs. You’ll also benefit from vitamin E (13 percent of your daily needs) thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin when you consume pine nuts.
Minerals in pine nuts include manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron, and potassium.
Pine nuts provide certain health benefits if you are trying to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. The nuts are a high-fat food, but they provide healthy polyunsaturated fat—this is a healthy form of fat that helps boost heart health and reduce cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation and consumed over saturated fat.
Pine nuts are also a source of monounsaturated fat, another heart-healthy fat. They provide diet-friendly fiber and protein to help promote satiety as well. Studies also show plant-based diets that include healthy fats and protein from nuts and seeds like pine nuts (rather than less healthy protein sources like meat) can boost heart health.
In a published Nutritional Guide for Physicians, study authors write that healthcare providers should consider recommending plant-based diets to their patients to help lower body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
The source notes that this type of diet may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower the risk of dying from heart disease.
Are pine nuts considered a nut or a seed?
The name would imply that pine nuts are a nut. But the name is deceiving. Pine nuts are actually seeds that come from different varieties of pine cones.
What’s the best way to store pine nuts?
The best way to store pine nuts is to keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay fresh for about three months. If you keep them in the refrigerator, they should stay fresh for up to six months. If you freeze them, you can use them for about one year.
Do pine nuts taste like pine?
Most people don’t taste the pine in pine nuts, but several sources note that Chinese pine nuts have a stronger pine flavor.
Can I consume pine nuts from pine cones that I find in my yard?
No. Pine nuts are harvested at a very specific time in the growth of the pine cone. Additionally, only some varieties of pine trees produce seeds that are edible.
Recipes and Preparation Tips
Pine nuts are easy to consume raw. You can toss them onto salads, pasta dishes, blend them into grain dishes, and you can even top ice cream or yogurt with pine nuts.
Many people also consume pine nuts roasted. Roasting the small seeds brings out their mild and delicate flavor. To roast the seeds, simply spread them on a baking sheet and place in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or less. Be sure to keep an eye on the nuts because they burn quickly.