The Secret Catch To Using Nuts As A Breadcrumb Substitute

Whether you are making a dish that calls for breadcrumbs (and you're completely out) or if you're trying to cut back on carbs, nuts are a great alternative. From breading chicken to adding them into meatballs, nuts can do the trick just as well as some starchier alternatives. While you could also make breadcrumbs out of vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, you still need nuts or seeds to help give the dish the crunch you're likely looking for (via Epicurious). 

While almonds are a favorite go-to for many, macadamia nuts and pecans are also great options (via Paleo Hacks). Pistachios would also be delicious, and Bon Appétit suggests hazelnuts, too. According to Delish, you can really use any kind of nut you prefer, though it is suggested that whatever you are breading has to have some moisture to make the nuts stick well as a coating. Fortunately, there is one simple trick you can use to ensure that your nut mixture will work as a successful alternative to breadcrumbs.

This is the trick to successfully breading with nuts

The key to getting nuts to stick well to whatever you are trying to bread is to turn the nuts into small particles. According to Bon Appétit, the easiest way to do this is to toss them in the food processor and allow it to run until the nuts are the right size — meaning not as fine as flour, but not so chunky that they'll fall off whatever you're breading.

Once the nuts are prepared, you can stick them to the main ingredient, like fish or chicken. For other foods, there is an extra step. The best technique you should use to ensure the nuts will stick well and form a proper coating for foods like zucchini is to prepare an egg wash (via Paleo Hacks). Just dip the slices of zucchini, or any other food that isn't quite as moist as chicken or fish, into the egg wash then coat it in the ground nuts. The egg wash will help the nuts stick well so you can get a perfectly crisp crust. Just keep in mind that nuts tend to burn faster and at lower temperatures, so don't cook them on high heat, warns Bon Appétit. Otherwise, the dish might have a bitter flavor.