Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black Walnuts

Wow, a whole week went by since the last post? How did that happen?

This past week we foraged for Black Walnuts, which are in season right now! They are falling off their trees and they look like tennis balls on the ground (same color, shape and approximate size.) Unfortunately I didn't take pictures (I will next time!) but you can find out more about harvesting black walnuts from wildman Steve Brill's website (pictures, description, recipes - click plants, then black walnut.) There is also good info with pictures on black walnuts here.

You can actually make a little money gathering these and selling them to hulling stations: about $10 - $13 per one hundred pounds (hulled). However, if you take the time and energy to shell them, you can actually sell them at markets and such for $10/pound. (We just plan on eating ours.)

We found them in our neighborhood around the South Side Slopes, and today we went to Schenley park and found a great tree there (on a little out of the way path by a creek, so beautiful!)

We step on the green shells to get the walnut out, then we gathered them into a bag (wearing gloves, and even so, my fingers got stained.) We'll dry them and then get a nutcracker and nutmeat pick to open them and extract the meat.

We'll have some to demonstrate at our Wild Edible Walk this coming Saturday, September 27! Unfortunately we didn't see any Black Walnut trees down on the southside riverfront trail, but we'll bring the green walnuts and once you see them you'll be able to find them yourselves...they are very easy to spot once you know what you are looking for!

And there a still a few spots left in our Raw Foods Dinner and Demo, coming up this Wednesday, Sept 24. Please give us a call if you want to come: (412) 381-0116. I really feel it will be a very fun evening! The menu is:

  • green smoothie
  • butternut squash soup
  • raw burritos with spiced nutmeat, corn salsa, and guacamole
  • tomato basil salad
  • nutmilk chai
  • fruit with chocolate sauce

Finally, a woman contacted me who REVERSED her diabetes at the Tree of Life Refuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ. Her acupuncturist has some reservations about staying on an all raw diet through a cold winter, and she wanted input from me (as an acupuncturist familiar with raw foods.) You can read about her and my response here.

Til next time ~ (which will hopefully be sooner than this last time, and include pictures!)

~ Melissa


Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

How do you dry out the walnut shells. I have a bunch of black walnuts in my area and am wondering if there are any tips you can give me about hulling and eating them? Can I eat them is as much quantity as I would english walnuts?

Birch Center said...

Here is what we did:
first to get the green hull off, step on the walnut and - while wearing gloves - take it out of the hull.
To dry: we used our dehydrator set to 105, but you could just lay them out on a table (on paper towels or something so they won't stain while they're still drying.) Some say put them in the sun to dry, but I know the squirrels would get them around here if I put them outside to dry!
I find they are so good that I crack them and eat them right away, but people do use them in recipes, (you could probably google "black walnut recipes"), and I think they are used in similar quantities to the English walnuts.
Thanks for your comment!
~ Melissa