The hazelnut, or cob nut, is the fruit of hazel trees and shrubs. Hazelnuts, and hazelnut oil, is a common ingredient in foods such as cookies, pies and chocolates. Hazelnuts can be consumed raw or roasted. According to Lucy Gerspacher and Jim Piper, authors of "Hazelnuts and More," hazelnuts are high in iron, calcium and protein, making them a beneficial addition to most diets. You can eat hazelnuts merely by taking off the shells and skins, or roast them.
Remove the hazelnut shells using a nutcracker. Buy pre-shelled hazelnuts if you would like to skip this step.
Wrap a handful of hazelnuts in a clean dishtowel and rub them back and forth between your hands or on a countertop. Continue this for two minutes to remove the skins from your hazelnuts and eat them as they are, with the skin removed
Roast hazelnuts by preheating an oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and placing the hazelnuts on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single, even layer.
Bake the hazelnuts in your oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Remove the cookie sheet of hazelnuts from your oven, using oven mitts to avoid burning yourself. Let the hazelnuts cool before eating.
Store any uneaten hazelnuts in a sealed freezer bag; they will keep for up to 12 months.
According to Susan Herrmann, author of "Nuts in the Kitchen," you can sprinkle your hazelnuts with a spice, such as cinnamon, before roasting to add a slight flavor.