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How to Grow and Store Nuts With a Few Sample Recipes

Updated on July 2, 2014
Whole Pecans, Some with Hulls
Whole Pecans, Some with Hulls | Source

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.

3 kinds of pecans
3 kinds of pecans | Source

Storing

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.

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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.

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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.

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Measures

A pound of pecans in a shell equals 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups shelled

walnuts 2

peanuts 2

almonds 1 to 1 ½

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Pecan Trees

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.

Pecan Orchard
Pecan Orchard | Source

Planting Pecans

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.

The Harvest

If you have trouble getting the nuts off the tree, knock them down with a pole. Keep them in the refrigerator in the shell.

Pecan Macaroons

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!

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Globetrekkermel! I love getting gifts of food, always did, so I'm sure that they will be well-received. Thanks for coming by.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 4 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      GOOD ADVICE AVIAN, WILL TRY THIS RECIPE FOR CHRISTMAS GIFTS .

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good for you, hyphen! These are great.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Those vegan pecan burgers sound great. I will make them. Right now I am picking up walnuts. Millions go to waste each year around here. It makes me sad. Nuts are so good for us and are delicious also. Thanks aviannovice.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nuts are such great and healthful snacks.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like a great idea, Eddy. Glad that we managed to find each other.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so welcome, Nell. Glad that you find it interesting enough to give it a try.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're right, shiningirisheyes. It doesn't seem to be that difficult, from what I have learned. It all depends on whether or not one wants to live with conveniences.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow, kashmir! Thanks for the great support.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mhatter, I think we're all a little nuts. Makes it easier to survive, don't you think?

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      This is very interesting Deb. I really love roasted nuts and we always buy mixed nuts for snacks. Thanks for sharing the information. :-)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Thank you for sharing this great hub and I am save it in with my recipe book. So useful and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I love the idea of the nut butter, I do eat nuts but just the store bought ones, so this was really interesting stuff, and I will give the butter a try, thanks nell

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      After reading many of your well-researched and informative hubs I am convinced you would could successfully live off the land, minus the grid!

      Another fine write and thanks for including the recipes.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting information within this well written hub ! Some of this i did not know before, thanks for helping me learn more about this subject . Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting. I know of no nut trees (except yours truly) in my area.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Carol. Guess I'd best look at your almond hub now to see what I can learn!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Good information..I make my own almonds..well not from scratch. Great hub...Going to bookmark and link to my hub on almonds...

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sure, Billy. If you have a favorite nut, perhaps you could plant that one.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting stuff here Deb! We really should plant a nut tree next spring. It's just one of those things you don't think about when planting a garden area. Thanks for the info!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow, summerberrie, it's good to know that you have a grove. How long have you been growing?

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, peachpurple. I didn't know about nuts being fried, either, and I sure won't be buying any more unless I roast them myself from a raw state. Do you have any kinds of nuts there in Malaysia?

    • profile image

      summerberrie 4 years ago

      Wow, aviannovice, these are perfect tips for me. We have a pecan grove and I never new about the placing nuts in warm water to make them easier to crack! I'm going to give both our pecan Macaroons and Vegan burgers a try. Voted up and useful.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Very informative hub about nuts. I didn't know that nuts were fried instead of toasted. Too bad I can't plant any nuts tree in my garden, weather problem and the land area is insufficient. Voted up and interesting

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