Hickory nuts are eaten straight from the shell, or they can be roasted or toasted first. Hickory nuts are also used in baked goods such as cakes, muffins and cookies. They are even crushed and boiled and made into a broth. Sometimes hickory nuts are added to other foods such as stuffing, rice and vegetable side dishes. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a hickory tree, harvesting its nuts is quite easy.
Gather the nuts that have dropped from the tree. Gather them every couple of days to prevent the squirrels and other animals from getting them first. Fill a bucket up about half way with nuts.
Fill the bucket with water. This will both wash the nuts and sort out the ones that were infested by weevils.
Scoop out the nuts floating on top of the water. These nuts are the good nuts that are now ready for curing, cracking and long-term storage. Throw out the nuts that sink.