Storing Black Walnuts

Food Preservation
   
Swinging from the Rafters

Storing Black Walnuts for Food Preservation

Black Walnut Storage…It gets Nutty!

Between hot flashes, hot harvest sun, and hot water bath canning….I reach critical mass during harvest season. There’s pickles, peppers, pumpkins, and tomatoes to contend with. Plus the nuts are on the ground. Don’t know whether it’s the pressure or the hot flashes, but I get overwhelmed.

You know the scene “I’m melting….M-E-L-T-I-N-G.” We’re talking puddles here.

But there is hope!

Black Walnuts in hulls, the hulls must be removed and the shells dried
Black Walnuts just need to be picked up off the ground and put somewhere outside where hulls can dry for a few weeks.

They don’t cry for immediate attention.

Once the hulls cure, put on some gloves to remove hulls, and let the Black Walnuts shells dry again.

Daddy used to hang unshelled black walnuts in cool dry rafters of the basement. It works for me except I use the garage. If you have a mesh bag that works best; but I have used a doubled GASP plastic shopping bag with good results.

In most cases, these will hold over until the next season’s harvest.

With black walnuts, just crack what you need for a project.

Black Walnuts on ground in hulls

Picking the meat is tedious, but if you do just what you need a little at a time, the process is not so bad. Plus, the nuts stay fresher.

Black Walnuts offer a strong flavor, well worth the nut picking effort! Bakers go crazy for black walnuts and will pay top dollar for the harvest.

I don’t know how Stephen Covey would work through this food preservation cycle, but I crack what I need for one project, put nut meats in a resealable bag, and refrigerate until ready to use. Usually, the next day.

Experts advise that shelled walnuts will last for about 4 weeks in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer. I don’t know they never linger that long at the barn!

Because all nuts have a high fat content, nuts will “go bad” over time. Always, always, always taste black walnuts before putting them in your latest recipe. If the walnuts are bad….the whole project is lost.

If you didn’t forage walnuts last year, hope you will do so next. Black Walnuts are often available in your local grocery store.

Other links about Black Walnuts

Baking Black Walnut Tea Cake
Gardening Black Walnuts Cause Tomato Wilt
Real Life Cracking Up Curing Barn Fever with Walnuts

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About Joyce

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.