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Foraging: Collecting, Processing and Eating Wild Nuts

We are all a little nutty for nuts at this time of the year and we have been getting questions about what nuts to eat and how to eat them. Some nut types have gained a bad reputation for their high levels of tannins which can be harmful to your gut if you eat them in large numbers i.e. Acorns. However as long as you prepare your nuts in the right way then you can look forward to some tasty treats for Autumn.

Wild Nuts We Love

Beech Nuts

The forest flour can be covered with these small triangular nuts at this time of the year. They contain 20% protein, making them an excellent food source for vegans.

Walnuts

You may need a stick to get these delicious treats from the tree and a sturdy pair of shoes to stamp on the outer layer before removing the shelled walnuts inside. You will need to dry them out fully for a few weeks before removing the shells. Walnuts are delicious in lots of baking recipes.

Acorns

Acorn flour is now a trendy as it is gluten free and makes a popular replacement for bread as is holds some sweetness. Foragers tip: Remember, the large the cap on the outside, the more tannin on the inside.

Hazelnuts

When foraging for Hazelnuts you can collect the green nuts that have fallen from the trees but you need to leave them to ripen in a warm, dry place. Hazelnuts are a tasty snack that can be chopped up and added to salads or mixed in with butter for some extra delicious toast. Squirrels love hazelnuts so be sure to leave some for the animals.

How to Leach Nuts

First take the shells off the nuts and grind them down a little. A blender or hand grinder will work for this. Next put your nut mix in a jar, don’t fill the jar up to the top, maybe 3/4 full and then top up the jar with cold water. Put the lid on the jar and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

You will see that the water has turned to an orange colour. Drain this water from the jar and add new water. Now its back to the fridge for another 24 hours. Taste the nut mix after 48 hours and repeat this process until the bitterness of the mix has disappeared.

water. Now its back to the fridge for another 24 hours. Taste the nut mix after 48 hours and repeat this process until the bitterness of the mix has disappeared.

After you have leached the nuts you can dry them out using a dehydrator or oven bake them on a low heat.

Remember that nuts are high in good fats and shouldn’t be stored at room temperature. To keep your nuts for longer try freezing them.

A Nutty Recipe for A Cosy Weekend

Here is a lovely recipe for Acorn Falafels from the HungerandthirstforLife Blog

Join us for one of our foraging adventures to learn more about wild nuts and how to use them in your recipes at home.

 

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