We have a black walnut tree in our back yard. In past years, I've just gotten mad at the walnuts that I keep stepping on. This year I decided to actually collect them and do something with them.
I thought it would be a simple project, and it was, but there are a number of lessons I learned throughout the process:
- Pick the nuts off the ground and remove hull as soon as possible otherwise they mould and can ruin the nut. The hulls also stain everything. Next year I will be mixing the walnuts in a bucket with 3 parts water, 1 part gravel to remove the hulls
- Let the nuts cure in their shells - I did this, but I didn't start it soon enough and a number of my walnuts were rotten/mouldy. I didn't lay them out thin enough, so mould set in.
- Remove from shell - I used a hammer and a zip-lock bag. Was very time consuming
- Rinse the nuts and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons sea/rock salt and add ascorbic acid (1/4 tsp per 2 cups water) soak for 8 hours - this is supposed to remove any mould from the nut meat and also counteract any toxins that may have developed (Mycotoxin and Aflatoxin)
- Rinse, add salt and then dry in the food dehydrator at < 150oF for 12-24 hours
- Store in zip-lock bags