Ever wonder which nuts to buy when you're standing in the grocery store looking at about 100 different versions? I have experimented over the years with various types of nuts and have developed this guide with the best flavor pairings. Nuts have tons of flavor and health benefits, which is exactly why a guide like this can help bring out the best taste in your favorite types of nuts. 

Cashews Go Best With Sweets

peanut, meat, sweet, nut, cereal
Hannah Beaver

One time I was at a movie theater, and they were serving fresh caramel roasted nuts. The options were almonds, cashews, and peanuts. I immediately picked cashews because they are buttery and soft, which makes for the perfect pairing with caramel. To this day I stick to my initial judgement. 

While other nuts taste good with sugary coatings like caramel and maple, cashews are the ultimate dessert nut. Whether you add caramel, sugar coating, or honey, this nut trumps the others because of its naturally rich taste. If you have the option to pick cashews like I did at the movie theater, do it and you will not be disappointed. 

Almonds Are Best Bare or Salted

walnut, apricot pits, almond, meat, nut
Kendra Valkema

There is something to be said about the natural flavor and crunch of almonds that make them super simple, yet delicious. Not to mention, they are so easy to transport and are more likely to last in your cabinets if they are plain.

I genuinely think almonds are best as a snack with just a little salt, or even totally bare. While this flavor may sound boring, this is the healthiest and most delicious way to savor the pure almond flavor. In fact, dressing them up too much can make you less likely to enjoy the nut itself. 

Peanuts Should Always Be Roasted 

Honey roasted peanuts are one of the most common and delicious ways to eat peanuts across the United States. The smoky flavor of roasted peanuts pairs well with their salty crunch. You can buy peanuts already roasted or do it yourself. Add in a little honey, and you've got yourself an intensely satisfying sweet and salty treat.

Pecans and Maple Are A Match Made in Heaven

pecan, caramel, sauce, pie
Amanda Shulman

While cashews are my ultimate dessert nut, there is something to be said for the American classic that is pecan pie. Pecans are naturally a bit sweet and tart, and the addition of a maple flavoring brings out their best. 

Maple glazed pecans are a great topping for spinach salads with cranberries and balsamic dressing. They have an addictive, sweet crunch that will make you fall in love. 

Walnuts and Apples Are the Move

Apples and walnuts go hand in hand, especially in many baked goods. From spiced apple walnut cinnamon scones to walnuts and apple slices on the go, this pairing can be both indulgent and healthy. Keep this in mind the next time you stop in a bakery or feel like eating walnuts. 

The Bottom Line

goody, sweet, cake, chocolate, candy
Alex Frank

There is more to life than the classic chocolate-peanut combination we see so often like in M&Ms or in Reese's candy. Each nut has its own natural flavor that needs to be complemented in different ways. Try some of these pairings in the future to appreciate nuts as much as I do.