How to Grow and Store Nuts With a Few Sample Recipes
Are You Nuts?
Since I’ve been in Oklahoma, I have had the opportunity to speak with several people about a topic that I have been curious about for a long time, nuts and nut trees. Being from the northeastern part of the country, no nut trees were able to grow there, except for the horse chestnut, and they were not edible. I’m sure that the edible variety was available, but I never had the wherewithal to do research on that. A number of people have access to pecans, as they grow well here.
Nuts need protection from both heat and air to prevent their natural oils from turning rancid. They are kept best in the shell, between 32-36 degrees F at 65% humidity, and will keep for about a year. Whole shelled nuts keep better than chopped, unroasted keeps better than roasted, and shelled nuts keep for several months in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator.
Getting at the Nutmeat
To crack one nut or hundreds, it is the same each time, lay the nut on something hard and whack it with a hammer. Soak the nuts with shells in warm water and the shells will be easier to crack, and the nuts inside will be less likely to break. Then spread the nutmeats on a table to dry before storage. For some of those nuts that just don’t want to crack, freezing them first is an option.
Real Roasted Nuts
Surprisingly, many of the nuts on the market are NOT roasted as advertised. They are deep fried. Here’s how to make your own.
Place a half pound to a pound of raw nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven. Set a gas oven on 180 or an electric oven on 200 degrees F. Keep watch on them, and they will be done in about 30 minutes. If not, check in another five minutes. Make certain that you don’t forget them, as they will burn! It is hard to tell when dark colored nuts are done, but you will know when you taste them. Adjust accordingly, and keep oil-fried nuts out of your diet that way.
Mixed Nut Butter
Prepare a quarter pound of almonds and a half pound of the following: peanuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. Put them all through a grinder and mix well. Pack in a jelly jar and chill. When ready to use, dip the container in hot water and the contents will easily slide out. Cut into slices for a wonderful vegetarian snack.
- Raw Organic Pecans - No Salt - Swanson Health Products
There's more to pecans than their appearance in famous Southern pie recipes. They contain a wealth of nutrients including antioxidants, fiber, protein and healthy unsaturated ...
A pound of pecans in a shell equals 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups shelled
almonds 1 to 1 ½
If you’d like to grow a tree, contact your local garden center and ask which tree is best for your area. They can’t be grown all over the country, but some varieties have been developed to grow as far north as Pennsylvania. There are smaller trees for smaller yards, early bearers, and late bearing trees. The southern pecan tree is the least hardy and needs a long growing season.
You can plant seeds, buds or graft, but seeds don’t always breed true. In the South, plant seeds in the ground any time following the nut drop and before the next spring, as long as the contents of the nut hasn’t dried out. Northern varieties will need to be chilled in your storage area or in the ground just above freezing for 2 ½ months in order to germinate. To bud pecans, select the larger varieties for stock. Seedling trees will take years to determine what you have, 8 years or better. Grafted trees take about half that amount of time. If you’d like to take the orchard route in order to make a little money, you can grow 30 for every acre. Grow two different varieties near each other for pollination purposes.
If you have trouble getting the nuts off the tree, knock them down with a pole. Keep them in the refrigerator in the shell.
Beat an egg white until stiff, then gradually beat in 1/3 cup pecan nut meats that are finely chopped. Drop mixture by the teaspoonful onto a baking sheet covered with buttered paper. Make smooth rounds on your drops with the back of the spoon and sift powdered sugar over the top. Bake at about 350 degrees F until lightly brown.
Vegan Pecan Burgers
Combine one cup ground unroasted pecans, one cup bran flakes, one cup wheat germ, one cup grated onion, 2/3 cup grated carrots, one Tbsp. tamari, and enough water to moisten(if needed). Shape your mix into patties. Fry on a non-stick or potato-rubbed skillet. Serve on buns with your favorite toppings.
Now, you have enough ammunition to be able to add good quality nuts to your pantries, refrigerators, and can cook a couple of new things. Have fun with your new knowledge!