Organic Mediterranean Pine Nuts
There are over one hundred species of pine trees, and only about twenty of these produce edible seeds, known as pine nuts. While all pine nuts have exceptional nutritional value, the Spanish ones are nutritionally unique among them, thanks to their high protein and phytosterol content, due to their long maturity process.
Albea Blanca´s pine nuts come from the Pinus pinea or Stone pine species, native from Spain, of low productivity and difficult harvesting of the nuts. They are grown in organic woodlands in Extremadura, west Spain, bordering Portugal. This species can reach a height of 25 meters (82 feet) and is well-known for its rounded globe shape in youth and umbrella-shaped canopy on its old age, up to 8m wide; and for its longevity (it can live as long as 500 years!) These pine trees need plenty of light if it is to fruit and mostly grows on plains or low slopes. The pine cones mature in the third year (take longer to mature than any other pine worldwide), producing large, flavorsome, pine nuts inside a hard shell. To get 1kg of pine nuts are needed almost 30kg of pine cones.
Today the harvesting process is done mechanically, by shaking the trees, always respectful with the environment. Pine cones are collected starting in November all through to April, always before they open (the opened ones are discarded). Once collected, the pine cones are left to dry in the sun until summer, so they gradually open and facilitate the hard-shell pine nuts extraction. Skilled hands are needed to remove the nut from its shell, using a shredder to also remove the leaves. Discarded parts are crushed and used to make organic compost. The harvesting process continues with peeling, sorting and packaging according to sizes.
All pine nuts are rich sources of numerous health-promoting minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Have an exceptional high content of:
• Delta5-olefinic acids: A distinctive type of polyunsaturated good fat called. One of these fatty acids, pinolenic acid, has been shown to curb appetite in women by increasing secretion of satiety hormones.
• Vitamin K (prevents excessive bleeding)
• Vitamin E (natural antioxidant)
• Phosphorus (filters waste and repairs tissue and cells)
• Zinc (for the correct functioning of the prostate gland and the development of the reproductive organs)
• Iron (recommended in case of anemia)
• Manganese (for the collagen production, as a skin structural´s component)
• Rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, folic acid and calcium.
• Delta5-olefinic acids: A distinctive type of polyunsaturated good fat. One of these fatty acids, pinolenic acid, has been shown to curb appetite in women by increasing secretion of satiety hormones.
• Vitamin K: prevents excessive bleeding.
• Vitamin E: natural antioxidant.
• Phosphorus: filters waste and repairs tissue and cells.
• Zinc: for the correct functioning of the prostate gland and the development of the reproductive organs.