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Benefits Of Black Walnuts And Grilled Walnut Chicken Salad Recipe

Updated on October 4, 2015
Eastern black walnut.
Eastern black walnut. | Source

Black Walnuts For Flavor and Health

A among the numerous types of healthy, nutritious nuts that I enjoy, Black Walnuts are my favorite for their taste and texture. They are one of two types of Walnut, the other being the more often found English or Persian Walnut, which has a lighter taste.

In the positive column, black walnuts are a good astringent, provide protein, and can help cleanse the digestive tract. On the more cringe-worthy side, they can fight and prevent intestinal parasites and candida infections. Anti-fungal, they also can help some skin conditions like acne. Eating these nuts can reduce LDL cholesterol and may even help prevent cancer and kill cancer cells.

One autumn, a friend invited me over to gather black walnuts produced from their large tree. We had a good time, and the nuts were delicious, nut I should have worn gloves -- my hands turned green from the husks and took a week to come untinted!

Please enjoy some of my favorite Black Walnut recipes gathered over the years and offered below.

Black Walnut Season begins October 1st annually in the Midwest between the Kansas Border and the Appalachian Mountains. If you have a stand of the trees, you can collect the nuts and take them to centers that will pay a price for each 100 pounds of shelled nuts they process.

Black Walnuts, Husks and Tree

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Black walnut husks beginning to crack open.
Black walnut husks beginning to crack open.
Black walnut husks beginning to crack open. | Source

Black Walnut Roots Danger

Grafting different varieties of walnuts to a black walnut root stock can be dangerous, because that root stock produces a poisonous substance.. This is similar to the situation arising from tomatoes that cross with jimsonweed - those crossed tomatoes are poisonous to infants and young children.

Black Walnut roots (Juglans nigra L.) produce the substance juglone. English walnut trees are sometimes grafted onto black walnut root stocks and can pick up the dangerous substance. Interestingly, some research shows that juglone can kill cancer cells, but more research is needed.

Other food plants can die when planted near a tree that produces the juglone, within a radius of up to 80 feet. Examples are apple trees, blueberries, potatoes, and tomatoes. In Ohio, we find that the Three Sisters - corn, beans, and squash - are unaffected by walnut roots, as are a variety of melons and carrots. In the Midwest and South, a stand of black walnut trees in pastureland prevents erosion and encourages the growth of Kentucky bluegrass. Check with your garden center before planting black or English walnut trees.

The juglone is dangerous when ingested by humans and horses, especially via the roots of the black walnut tree. Horses sometimes lie in wood chops made of the trees and can become ill. In addition, the pollen of black and English walnut trees can cause allergies in both horses and people.

"Black walnuts are my favorite."
"Black walnuts are my favorite."
"Me too!"
"Me too!"

Black Walnut Chicken Salad

This is delicious! Serves 3 to 6.


  • 3 Cooked chicken breasts, chunked. I like to grill them outside, but you can bake them in the oven.
  • 3 Celery ribs without the leaves, cut to a large dice
  • 1/2 Cup chopped Black Walnuts (or more, if you like)
  • 1/2 Cup sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice [an alternative is 1 Tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon Cilantro or a different flavor blend]
  • Mayonaise or low calorie Italian Dressing as an alternative
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can also add additional vegetables of your choosing.

Mix all ingredients together, adding just enough dressing to moisten the salad and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves or on your favorite bread as a sandwich.

Black Walnut Soda Bread

This is a simple recipe that serves several people. It is even simpler if you purchase shelled Black Walnuts from your local grocer or big box store. If you pick your own, remember to wear gloves.


  • 4 Cups of all purpose unbleached flour, or you could use whole wheat or half and half white/wheat
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Cups raisins - dark or light, whichever you prefer
  • 1 Cup chopped black walnuts
  • 1 Stick melted margarine or butter substitute
  • 4 Whole eggs
  • 1.5 Cups buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • With cooking spray, coat heavily a 10-inch round cake pan or even an iron skillet, which produces a better flavor.
  • In a very large mixing bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, soda, raisins, and nuts.
  • Mix all these ingredients together thoroughly.
  • Next, add in the margarine, eggs and buttermilk.
  • Mix everything together thoroughly.
  • Place batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Black Walnut Shrimp


  • 1 lb Medium shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • Coating: 1 egg white, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup peanut oil
  • 2 tsp Fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/2 Cup Black Walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine or white vinegar
  • ½ Cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 Tablespoon water mixed together first as a thcikening agent
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Lime wedges


  • Place shrimps into coating items in a bowl and mix.
  • Refrigerate 20 minutes.
  • Heat wok or iron skillet until hot and THEN add peanut oil. Heat to warm, not smoking.
  • Add shrimp, stir well, and turn off heat.
  • Allow shrimp to sit in warm oil 2 minutes.
  • Drain and place in stainless steel bowl.
  • Wipe pan clean and return 1 1/2 Tablespoon of drained oil back in.
  • Add ginger & onions; stir fry 30 seconds.
  • Add walnuts and fry 30 seconds.
  • Return shrimp to pan with all other ingredients and stir fry 2 minutes.
  • Place the meal on a platter and serve with rice or noodles with lime wedges.

Black Walnut Cookie Bars


  • 1/2 Cup butter or a substitute
  • 1 Cup white sugar or Honey
  • 3 Whole eggs
  • 1.5 Cups all purpose unbleached or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped Black Walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla, divided
  • 1 Cup light brown sugar
  • Additional walnuts for top garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • With cooking spray, coat one 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  • Quickly beat together the butter and white sugar or Honey until fluffy and yellow.
  • Separate 2 of the eggs into whites and yolks. Save the whites for the end.
  • Add in the 2 yolks and the remaining 1 whole egg to the batter.
  • Add in half the vanilla.
  • Mix the whole mixture very well.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Add teh dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix completely.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the baking pan.
  • Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top.
  • Now beat the egg whites quickly until they foam.
  • Add the rest of the vanilla and the brown sugar and beat vigorously until the mixture is stiff.
  • Evenly layer this egg white mixture over the nut layer.
  • Bake about 30 minutes and cool. Test doneness by inserting clean knife blade into center - if clean coming out, it's done.
  • Cut the cookies into whatever size bars you want and put some walnuts on the top.

Delicious Walnut Garlic Sauce


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