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Black Walnuts in my Yard in the Spring

Updated on March 14, 2020
Nutmeats in the shell, after being struck by a hammer
Nutmeats in the shell, after being struck by a hammer

It's a cold day, but the snow is slowly melting in between on the warmer days, and all the black walnuts that were buried by snowfall last year, are slowly emerging.

I have a large, tree filled yard and many of the trees are black walnut. Many of the nuts fell to the ground and stayed there.

Just a nut
Just a nut
Another, nutmeats gone - probably a squirrel ate it
Another, nutmeats gone - probably a squirrel ate it
Frozen, fully intact, after hitting shell with hammer
Frozen, fully intact, after hitting shell with hammer
One but, in a solo cup. Need to separate nuts from shell
One but, in a solo cup. Need to separate nuts from shell

As the nutmeats thaw in my cup, I'm wondering if they will fall out of the shells.


Not really. I took a wooden toothpick and started to poke around the nutmeats. The nutmeats are in pockets. I started with the narrow end of the toothpick and it split.

The wide end worked a little better. As I poked, the nutmeats came out. Some in whole pieces. Some in a mash. If I went out and picked up about 80 nuts and spent some time, I would have a enough to make some walnut butter, and then, cookies.

Walnut butter is probably easy. Just load up my food processor fitted with a chopping blade, and pulse the nutmeats into a spread. It would maybe require a spoonful of canola or corn oil. Then, follow a peanut butter cookie recipe, substituting the walnut butter for the peanut butter.

Picking the Nutmeats Out

I have some wooden, flat toothpicks
I have some wooden, flat toothpicks
Toothpick
Toothpick
Nut and toothpick
Nut and toothpick
Target area, nutmeats
Target area, nutmeats
Gently poke toothpick into side of nutmeat
Gently poke toothpick into side of nutmeat

Poke

Apply gentle pressure with toothpick, nut meat will loosen, probably break. Collect on plate
Apply gentle pressure with toothpick, nut meat will loosen, probably break. Collect on plate
Nutmeats on plate
Nutmeats on plate
Poke. Drop. Repeat.
Poke. Drop. Repeat.
Repeat.
Repeat.
Empty. Start again with next shell.
Empty. Start again with next shell.

Don't Eat the Toothpick Splinters

Pile of Nutmeats is accumulating
Pile of Nutmeats is accumulating
Empty. Discard shell.
Empty. Discard shell.
Again. Poke. Collect.
Again. Poke. Collect.
Separate. Empty shells, collected Nutmeats.
Separate. Empty shells, collected Nutmeats.
Be careful. Toothpicks do splinter. Discard the splinter so nobody eats it
Be careful. Toothpicks do splinter. Discard the splinter so nobody eats it
Toothpick splinter or shard.
Toothpick splinter or shard.
Repeat.
Repeat.
See the Nutmeats? The pile of shells are growing, too.
See the Nutmeats? The pile of shells are growing, too.
I think the shells are empty
I think the shells are empty
All done!
All done!

The Flavor of Walnut

None of these made it to cookies. The flavor is slightly sweet. Almost a butter creaminess after you chew them. They are raw.

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