More than 99% of walnuts sold in supermarkets are harvested from trees that grow in the fertile soils of California’s Central Valley (U.S.A).
Up to 50 tons of walnuts are harvested every year, from late August until late November.
As the nuts begin to ripen in the fall, the outer green casing will split to expose the ripening nut in its hard brown shell.
Though the walnut is botanically classified as a fruit, it is technically considered a tree nut.
Walnuts are large and meaty, high in a bitter tasting compound called tannins. The flavor of tannins balances well with sweeter tasting ingredients.
The freshness of shelled walnuts is indicated by pale flesh. Whereas, areas of darkness suggest that the oils have started to oxidize.
When walnuts start to oxidize they become rancid and can contain harmful bacteria.
Light, oxygen, and heat are the enemies of walnuts. To help slow the oxidation of walnuts, store them in the freezer.
Storing them in an airtight container in the freezer helps to limit their exposure to all three of these elements and can slow the rate of spoilage.
Cooking With Walnuts
Now that you know how to store your walnuts, let’s learn how you can cook with them.
The quickest way to add crunch to your recipes is with walnuts, among other nuts.
Read More Here – How To Cook With Nuts
Walnuts can be eaten raw, but toasting or roasting them helps to release complex buttery flavors. As well as giving them a more crispy texture.
This tree nut is a versatile ingredient, a perfect match for countless recipes that are sweet and savory.
Use them to add a delicious, nutty flavor to cakes, breads, pestos, sauces, salads and so much more.
How To Toast Or Roast Walnuts
To roast or toast 1 cup of pieces or whole walnuts do the following.
In The Oven
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread pieces or whole walnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool before using.
On The Stovetop
- Toast pieces or whole walnuts in a small skillet over medium-high heat for 8 – 10 minutes.
- Stir occasionally and remove from heat when walnuts are golden brown.
- Allow walnuts to cool before using.
You can even make candied walnuts using this recipe: Stovetop Brown Sugar Candied Nuts.
Use those candied walnuts to make this dish: Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples Cranberries and Candied Walnuts.
Try these recipes with your freshly toasted or roasted walnuts.
Raspberry Walnut Salad Dressing
Slice N Bake Brownie Cookies
Carmel Banana & Walnut Oatmeal
Green Bean Salad With Cilantro Sauce
Banana Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting
- Sweet Dark Cherry Bourbon Croissant Pudding
- Cherry Walnut Baked Brie
- Cranberry Walnut Mandarin Orange Salad
- Spinach Pear & Walnut Salad
- Paleo Classic Walnut Brownies
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