You’ve just brought home your first (or one-hundredth!) bag of Nut Crumbs and you can’t wait to bread your go-to comfort food and get to cooking. After all, in times like these indulging in great tasting food can help ease our stress, especially when we know it's secretly still a healthy choice.
But wait! Put down the bag. You’re going to want to read these tips, tricks, and techniques to breading with Nut Crumbs before you begin.
Start by giving your food a pat on the back
Okay, not just on the back. Pat EVERYWHERE. This applies to veggies, fish, poultry, you name it.
Excess moisture will make your flour soggy, stopping it from adhering to your food. Pat food dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel before coating in your almond, coconut, tapioca, cassava (you get the point) flour.
Skipping the flour? No problem, pat ‘em dry anyways. Your lightly beaten eggs or egg wash will stick better to dry food too. Hence the tradition of flour.
Swap out the bowl of Nut Crumbs for a tray (or plate) of them
The food you’re breading is likely flat. Chicken breast, eggplant, zucchini slices, fresh cod, and so on.
Bowls are conical. This cone-shape tends to warp and bend the food you just worked so hard to perfectly pat dry and dredge in egg. And now as you swirl your hand around in the bowl trying to coat said food, the Nut Crumbs clump together instead of adhering to your product.
In short, a tray is your best bet for an even coating.
And don’t be afraid to coat liberally. We know that you love your Nut Crumbs and want to make them last, but you’ll thank us when your food is coated head to toe in your delicious crumbs. A complete, even coating of Nut Crumbs locks in moisture and prevents your food from drying out while baking or frying.
So your food isn’t flat…
Alright, you caught us. Sometimes your food isn’t really flat. It’s a mushroom or a cauliflower floret.
We still don’t think that bowls are the way to go, especially with foods full of so many crevices. Instead, pour your Nut Crumbs into a ziplock bag. Drop in your egg-coated mushroom and shake! This stops your hands from interacting with the Nut Crumbs and adhering them to anything but the food.
And there are plenty of reusable bag options if you want to go green!
One last pat before the cooking starts
This one is pretty straight forward. With dry hands, pat down your food one last time to ensure optimal Nut Crumb adherence.
Nut Crumbs like it hot, and so does your cooking oil
If you’re pan frying your food you’ll want to make sure your pan is warm before adding any oil to it. The longer oil sits in heat the more it will break down and start to form a sticky substance on your pan. Lightly tap the rim of the pan, once it’s hot, add the oil.
Afraid of a little heat? Add a drop of water to the pan. When the water evaporates you’re good to go.
Nut Crumbs feel the same way about oil as oil feels about a cold pan. If you add your breaded food too soon it will absorb the oil instead of cooking in it. Not to mention your crumbs will stick easier to the pan.
Wait for the oil to shimmer and lightly sizzle, then add your food.
A little, but important, aside. Non-stick pans don’t like to turn up the heat without a companion. So, if you’re choosing non-stick over a regular pan, you’ll have to add the oil BEFORE the pan heats up.
Spritz your Nut Crumbs with oil
Baking instead of pan frying but still want that golden-brown, crunchy Nut Crumb breading? We have a technique for you, too!
Right before your pan enters the oven, spritz or lightly baste the top of your food with a little bit of oil. This will give the Nut Crumbs a nice crispy texture without making them soggy.
We suggest something like olive oil which won’t affect the flavor of the Nut Crumb breading.
Flip your food halfway through the baking process and spritz on the other side.
Do not disturb
It’s tempting to lift your food just a little to see how the cooking side looks, but the more you poke and prod the more your Nut Crumbs get jostled around and loosened up. Trust your recipe’s cooking instructions and only flip once, halfway through the cooking.
Don’t forget to spritz with oil if you’re baking!
Toss out the tongs
Your fork is the real MVP here. Tongs tend to pinch and squeeze your breading, making it more likely for your delicious Nut Crumbs to fall off your food. And trust us, your crumbs will taste way better on your chicken, fish, or zucchini than they will in the pan.