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Saturday, 4 October 2014

All things walnut

The walnut season, such that it is, is now in full swing. We have Gypsies coming almost daily to see if we want to sell our's. But this is a valuable source of nutrition, especially if, like me, you are a near vegetarian.

And they are very versatile. As mentioned in a previous post I am shelling and freezing the nuts as there are so many manky ones this year, that way I will know exactly how many I have. Freezing seems to have no great effect on the nut and they retain all the moisture which freshly fallen nuts have. My first taste of our own nuts last year was a revelation, they taste nothing like those you buy in Tesco in plastic packets.
A tray in front of the telly

These go to the chickens, anything discoloured or with little residents. They need lots of goodness at this time of the year when moulting

The others are sorted into halves and bits ready for the freezer

Firstly they can be used for snacks. As well as eating them straight, they can be candied, toffeed, salted, spiced and added to fudge and toffee for gifts. They are great with breakfast, either on muesli or classically with Greek (or Bulgarian) yoghurt and drizzled with honey. For elevensies there is cake, coffee and walnut or date and walnut being a favourite here, but good in sultana cake or any thing you fancy. A nice lunch at this time of the year is a salad with blue cheese, figs and walnuts. Can be added to coleslaw and any other salady things. Cheese and walnut biscuits...or bread, delicious and almost a meal on it's own.
Coffee and walnut cake

Cheese and walnut bread

They are very useful for main meals too. I use them with cheese and breadcrumbs to make sausages and keep a stash in the freezer. They can be added to mashed beans and onion to make 'meatballs', or again sausages, burgers or scotch eggs. They make a great pesto, I use chopped walnuts, land cress or wild garlic, garlic and cheese, whizzed up with oil and frozen in blobs ready for a quick pasta or spread on pizza base instead of tomatoes. One of my favourite quick suppers is pasta with chopped walnut, garlic, olive oil and lemon zest. Yum.
Scotch eggs with bean and walnut 'sausage meat'

With home made aioli

And for pudding, I use them ground instead of almonds in fig and walnut tart. Lovely. And stuffed into apples with dates and brown sugar. But I really shouldn't make puds.

There must be so many other ways of using them, when I run out of ideas I will be googling...............


  1. Nuts are a major source of protein for me, too. How wonderful you have such a good source. They are expensive to buy.

    1. They are indeed Cynthia. I made the mistake of giving too many to the birds last year. I have put out a request locally for almonds too, I love fresh almonds, but it would take too long to establish a tree. Last year someone in the next village gave me a load, but she has pollarded her tree! Such a shame.

  2. Never would of thought of so many different uses for a walnut and they all look delicious. Yes I freeze all our store bought nuts here in Australia as they seem to go rancid quite quickly,not enough room to grow our own.
    Love reading about your interesting life.

    1. They keep better in the shell, and we are using some we were given from last year for the chickens that look as sound as the ones you buy. But they are just not nice enough this year.Trouble is you use more if they are already shelled and frozen ready to use.

  3. Mmmmm! The only problem is the time it takes to crack them, and when they are not really fresh the shells crack into bits and it takes time picking all the bits of broken walnut out from the shell. I use them in cakes a lot and bread sometimes, and always add them chopped to crumble topping. I do like the look of that coffee cake...... :-)

    1. One of my favourites. Trouble is the icing sugar here is gritty, not at all like Silver Spoon so it spoils he experience a bit.But not much

    2. It's gritty in France too! I buy it in England when I can. But better than nothing.