And so is your health!!
Want free, organic black walnuts full of omega-3 fatty acids? Look no further than your nearest black walnut tree. Packing an impressive 700 calories for 1/2 cup of nuts, walnuts are a calorie dense, survival food. No tree, no problem. A quick search on craigslist should point you to people begging you to come get them out of their yard. I have plenty of trees around me, but virtual foraging on craigslist yielded four local sources. Seen a nice tree in someone’s yard? Stop in, make a friend, and introduce them to the world as it is supposed to be.
Collecting black walnuts takes me straight back to high school hackysack games on the quadrangle. All those hours hacking paid off years later on Western fire details, where hackysacks thrive in the “hurry up and wait” environment, but more importantly it is my walnut stomping move. I don’t know the name, but the move where you roll the sack up onto your foot from the ground works well on walnuts with a tweak and a little more force. It works well on grass, but for clarity I show it on pavement. Just stomp forward and down and then roll it under your foot to peel off the husk. I used to run over them in my driveway, but stopped after reading it can cause hairlilne fractures that promote spoiling.
After stomping, I let them dry out in the driveway for a day or two then put them in cardboard boxes to for a couple weeks to “cure”. The cardboard will absorb the inky stain, which can stain your hands if you let it. I have had them mold if I go straight to the cardboard box, so the couples days in the sun has helped me with that.
Black walnuts, Juglans nigra, has a stronger flavor than regular walnuts and may be an acquired taste for you. A lot of people bake with them adding them to brownies and the like. My wife has been candying them and made up a batch this morning. I wouldn’t call it a recipe, since she pan fried them with a little coconut oil while adding some maple syrup and some coconut sugar. As I munch them now, I can’t help but think that these tasty treats are the best tasting vitamins in our house.