Popular types of edible nuts include almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans and pistachios. Nuts such as macadamias, hazelnuts and walnuts are also quite popular and used in salads, desserts and beverages. Common nut varieties that are less popular are Brazil nuts and pine nuts, which are mild in flavor.
Peanuts are classified as nuts, but are actually part of the legume family that includes beans, lentils and peas. Peanuts are very versatile and many people enjoy eating them raw, roasted or as a delicious nut butter spread. They are rich in protein, and one cup yields about 40 grams of protein. Almonds are prized for their mildly sweet flavor and are widely used in baked goods. Many popular recipes call for almond extract, almond flour or almond paste.
Cashew nuts are native to South America, but commonly used in Asian dishes to add crunchy texture, and their neutral flavor pairs well with a variety of meats, vegetables and spices. Alternatively, pecans are native to the southern regions of North America, and they are a popular ingredient in southern dishes such as pecan pie. Walnuts are another popular nut used for baking and their dry, bitter flavor is a perfect complement to sweeter ingredients.