Walnuts

Published on 06/07/13

We are a family that loves nuts. All kinds. Especially walnuts. Today, I am getting the last batch of 25 lbs of walnuts dehydrated after soaking.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but organic walnuts can be pretty pricey. We ordered our 25 lb box of organic halves and pieces from Bremner Farms Roadside Stands for $5.20 per pound. In case you don’t know how many walnuts that is, 25 lbs is one mighty big box. The walnuts were in one big bag in the box, which took up a big hunk of my deep freeze space!

It’s important that you maintain the fresh taste of walnuts by keeping them cold. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet. If your walnuts smell like paint thinner, you know they’re rancid. And if they’re rancid, you should throw them away!

When you bring walnuts home from the store, the best place to store them is in your refrigerator or freezer, depending on when you’re going to use them. If you’re going to use the walnuts right away, place them in your refrigerator. If you’ll be storing them for a month or longer, store them in your freezer.

So, I had this big giant bag in the deep freeze that was acquiring tiny tears each time I heaved it out of the way to get something below it. I broke down and finally just spent the whole week, soaking, dehydrating and freezing my walnuts.

Why soak and dehydrate them just to refreeze them? Nuts have phytic acid. Phytic acid is also found in grains and legumes. Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestion. When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine. Too many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly.

Nuts also have high amounts of enzymes inhibitors. This is another reason why unsoaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.

Try this recipe for Crispy Nuts, one of the foundational recipes of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook (page 513), by Sally Fallon .

Crispy Walnuts

Ingredients:

4 cups walnut halves and pieces 2 teaspoons salt filtered water

Preparation:

Mix nuts with salt and water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp*. Store in the refrigerator, as the fats in walnuts can go rancid quickly.

  • I dehydrate mine in my Excaliber Dehydrator.

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