How to Eat Black Walnuts
When a black walnut is ripe your must remove the nut shell from it’s husk. The husk is often soft and a green or brown color. If it’s not removed then the walnut meat can begin to mold. Before you can eat or use the black walnut meat you must be able to also properly crack the shells, which can be challenging. If you don’t want to crack all of the shells you have you can store the nuts up to a year.
Wash the nuts in a small bucket full of cool water to remove any debris and juice after you've removed the husk. Dry the nuts on paper towels in a ventilated area where there is no direct sunlight for up to two weeks and then store the nuts in mesh bag in a cool and dry area.
Soak the nut in cool water for up to two hours before you plan to crack the shell. Dry the nut and then leave it in an airtight container overnight.
Use a hammer to crack the nutshell to remove the meat. Use a vise if you have trouble keeping the nut in place.
Let fresh nut meat dry for up to two days before consuming or refrigerating. You can eat the nut meat raw immediately after it is dry or store the meat in an airtight container to use for recipes.
Cut the meat in half or place it in a food processor to puree or chop it for use as an additive in baking recipes. Black walnut meat can be used in cakes, stuffing for poultry, muffins and other items, although they work best in sweet recipes. Try mixing them into vanilla-, chocolate-, apple-, and pumpkin-based desserts.
The black walnut grows well in a variety of conditions but performs best in open areas where the sun shines brightly throughout the day. During periods of drought, your black walnut tree may drop its leaves. The foliage of the tree typically develops into a rounded shape that spreads 60 to 80 feet. Plants that are suffering from juglone poisoning show stunted growth, wilting and yellowed leaves before eventually dying. The fruit of the black walnut tree has a hard, round casing that can create a hazard around the tree. Black walnuts are susceptible to minor pests, including tent caterpillars, scale insects, mites and webworm larvae.
- Paper towels
- Mesh bag
- Vise (optional)
- Nut Growers: How Do I Remove the Hulls from Black Walnuts?
- University of Illinois Extension: Preparing Black Walnuts for Eating
- STL Today: Eat Black Walnuts
- North Dakota State University: Black Walnut
- U.S. Forest Service: Juglans Nigra: Black Walnut
- West Virginia University Extension Service: Black Walnut Toxicity