Steemit Iron Chef 2018 Act 01 Round 05 : Wild About Wild Nuts!

2년 전

Like a squirrel, I've stashed away a lot of foraged nuts. Now it's time to enjoy them! Come into my post and see my nutty plate of nuts for the Steemit Iron Chef contest.

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Going Through My Nuts

Let's take stock of my stash of my nuts! Most are foraged, but I have one kind from here on the homestead, too.

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I've been waiting for a good reason to see what's inside these Shellbark Hickory Nuts. I found them on the university campus in Corvallis, Oregon, and stuffed them in my laptop briefcase, lol. These nuts are so, so hard. It takes a vice to crack them open! But look at the size of those nut kernels inside!

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Top: Hazelnut shrubs are almost invasive in Oregon's Willamette Valley. I pick up their nuts whenever I find them. Many on the ground are empty - the squirrels start eating the good nuts while they are still green! I don't stand a chance! Bottom: At least I have a lot of English Walnuts from a tree in my yard.

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Top: The acorns came from a big, old English Oak tree in a schoolyard. They have big nutmeats with less tannin than many other kinds of acorns. I dry them in the shell to store for later use. Bottom: Gingko nuts from street trees in an older part of town. I made a DTube video about processing them and used them in other Steemit Iron Chef Rounds - 1: With Olives in a Chopped Salad and 3: With Cucumbers in a Dessert.


Cracking and Cooking With My Nuts

Out of all those hazelnuts, there were only 3 that had any nuts in them! That's what happens in the wild! But the Shellbark hickory nuts had large, sweet nutmeats. It took a lot of torque on the vice to crack these nuts - and then some delicate work with the nutpick. You won't see hickory nutmeats that large in many places!

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Clockwise from the three little Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts, Shellbark Hickory nuts, English Walnuts, Gingko nuts, and English Oak acorn meal.

To process the acorns, I ground them in my coffee grinder. I put the nut meal into a big pot and filled it with cold water to leach the tannin out of the acorns. It took many hours and changes of water until the acorn meal lost its astringent tannin dryness! I strained out the water, for the last time, with a coffee filter.


Enjoying My Nuts

I prepared each nut in a different way -- and the gingko nuts in 3 different ways. The English Walnuts have a sugar-cinnamon glaze. The hazelnuts are toasted. The hickory nuts are not changed in any way. So few people get to taste a real hickory nut. It's a shame to hide their sweet flavor. They are such an incredibly good nut! But they are so hard to get out of the shell, they are rare to find for sale - and then they cost so much.

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I mixed the acorn meal with my homestead honey, and topped it with a couple strips of brandied orange peel.

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Each group of gingko nuts tastes different. I roasted one set of gingko nuts the oven at 300F - simple but so flavorful! Another, I boiled and shelled them, and then sauteed them with a hit of soy sauce. A third group, I skewered them raw, then grilled them on a cast iron grill pan, with coarse salt. Each one tastes different - and each one is so good!

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This is a simple plate of nuts. It would go great with a simple plate of cheese. It's simple, but it really highlights the different flavors of the nuts that grow around me. What nuts are around you?


What Do You Think?

  • What's your favorite nut?
  • Have you ever foraged for nuts?
  • Have you eaten acorns?
  • Have you eaten hickory nuts?
  • Would you eat my plate of nuts?

I eat a lot of wild plants and show you how, because I believe that we can all have lives that are richer, more secure, more grounded, and more interesting by getting to know the plants and the land around us – in our yards, our parks, and our wild places.

Thanks @progressivechef for creating the Steemit Iron Chef contest series!

I try to make content that's interesting! If you found this informative and helpful, please give it an upvote and a resteem.


Plant List

  • Shellbark Hickory Carya laciniosa
  • Hazelnut Corylus avellana
  • English Walnut Juglans regia
  • English Oak Quercus robur
  • Gingko Gingko biloba

Haphazard Homestead

foraging, gardening, nature, simple living close to the land

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My YouTube channel: Haphazard Homestead

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Love love love the nuts, but here only have cashues, around 3 or four years ago with my dad we planted a cashues or marañones trees in our land and this year they star the harvest here our first fruit i give you the preview of my post i hope writen about that in the future.
Many thanks for teach how cook the nuts here there are a little expensive.
Best regard and happy weekend.

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Thanks, @galberto! How wonderful that you have cashews! I have never seen any growing in real life like that. Their fruits are so different! I look forward to reading about how you process them! Every kind of nut is so good. I'm glad you have the cashews! :D

I have an Oak tree and have been collecting acorns from it since its maturity several years ago. I had planned on offering them to my vegan and gluten-intolerant friends but I don't think they're that keen on trying to make the flour. So my stash grows.

On my wishlist this year is planting some hazelnut bushes, I've always loved them. yum.

Sort of off-topic, but as a show researcher for @pennsif's Alternative Lifestyle radio show I wanted to ask whether you would be interested in being a guest on it? It would be wonderful to let listeners know more about the foraging you do, and that they could do too.
You could reply here, or find me in Discord (same name). My fingers are crossed. :)

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The cold leaching is easy enough to do. So maybe they could try a couple handfuls -- for a smoothie. Good luck with the hazelnuts!

Yes, I would be happy to be on @pennsif's show. It will have to be after next week. I'm balancing some work obligations that will keep me quite busy. I am always happy to talk about foraging! I'll contact you on Discord, too, within the next couple days. Thanks for considering me for @pennsif's show!

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You're welcome, and I am looking forward to your contact - thank you! :)

That's a lot of nuts. But they look so good. I really like your 'minimalism' plate in photo one. Nice job on this SIC entry. Just don't tell the local squirrels what you're up to...

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The squirrels already know, lol. They keep track! ; )

Each time I read your entries of SIC makes me wanna come live in such a place as yours my friend! I will surely enjoy each of my day foraging then cooking with these wild foods!
Wonderful nuts plate!

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Thanks, @progressivechef! I'm fortunate to have so many different nuts around here, for sure. It's amazing how much different wild food is all around, growing on its own, waiting to be appreciated!

Are you sure you didn't rob a few squirrels' stashes?

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It's a battle out there! They win on the hazelnuts, but I beat them on those hickory nuts! The squirrels do join me for dinner sometimes, too... if you get my drift. ; )

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It's mainly hazelnuts, beechnuts, and sweet chestnuts I see lying around here. I trade them for apples with the squirrels. They like apples.

I never realised you could eat acorns, even with processing.

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Those are all good nuts to have around! I think squirrels and birds like beechnuts even better than hazelnuts. When I lived in Michigan, where beech trees are native, I hardly ever found more than the empty hulls. Your apple strategy would take a lot of apples around here, lol.

I'll make a post about eating acorns. Some are much better than others! But any in the White Oak family (with the rounded tips on the leaves) have less of the tannin taste than the Red/Black Oak family (with the pointed tips on the leaves). The white oak acorns mature in one season, but the red/black oaks take 2 years, so that may have something to do with it.

Well who can refuse to eat such blazing nuts! your nuts are driving me nuts really. Walnuts are always one of my favorites. All the nuts you have used are good source of healthy energy which is good for heart and brain. Thank you for that amazing experience.

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I'm glad you enjoyed all those nuts, @cheema1! I had a good smile with your reply. I'm fortunate to have all these Walnuts, that's for sure.

We have a tree with almonds at our garden.
i haven't eaten acorns. I didn't know that eat them. But i will try eating. I am eating all kind of nuts. They are delicious ! I like chocolate covered nuts too.

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Almonds are such good nuts! It would be nice if I could forage them or grow them, too! Acorns definitely take special processing to make them edible! But it's worth knowing and doing, if you have some big acorns available.

Wow! That's amazing! I had to laugh about that squirrel that you are! 😄 I collect mostly walnuts and when I find them hazelnuts. What else do you do with these acorns? And how can you tell how much tannin they have?

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I will think of you as a fellow squirrel now, too, lol! All the acorns have tannins, although some taste nice enough to eat a few right off the tree, like the Chestnut Oak. But they all do need to be leached. I focus on the big acorns, lol.

This writeup by Sam Thayer is the best I've ever found on processing acorns. I have never used lye - his 3rd method. My favorite way is the cold leaching. It's the easiest, by far. I used to put them in the blender, on chop, over and over with changes of water, until the water stayed clear. And that does work well, especially for cookies and pancakes. But the cold leaching is the easiest and least effort, because most of the time is just letting the acorns sit.

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Thank you for your advice and the link! I am not sure yet, if I would do that. Looks like a lot of effort. Plus we live in a small apartment ... Maybe when I grew up 😜 and have a house with garden and stuff ...

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The cold leaching is so easy, that you could do it with a small amount of acorns. Maybe you will try it next autumn - even in your apartment. They are free, after all. : )

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Hehehe! Yes, true! Thank you!

I am going nuts over those nuts!!!

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haha - you're such a nut! ; )

Wow! I want to come to your house!

What's your favorite nut? Almonds from the Farmer's Market
Have you ever foraged for nuts? Never, but now I want to.
Have you eaten acorns? No.
Have you eaten hickory nuts? No.
Would you eat my plate of nuts? Yes! So fast you would be in shock!

I have never seen any green nuts before. Your squirrels and you are so lucky :)

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Thanks, @bxlphabet! I hope you can enjoy some wild nuts sometime. And those green Gingko nuts, too. Wild food is interesting food, for sure! And I fight off a lot of squirrels, lol.

Are shellbark and shagbark hickory nuts the same? The ones around here are referred to as shag bark. Often, the spiral boarer gets to them before I do. It's easy to see the hole in the shell and then they are not even worth bothering to pick up off the ground

We have lots of black walnuts. Messy to collect and husk, but really great for baking. I can't imagine banana bread without them!

And I know of a few butternut trees a bit further north. I really love those, but the trees are becoming quite scarce. I'm hoarding a few handfuls in the freezer.

There are plenty of hazelnut bushes, but I have always suspected that it is the deer that eat them while they are still green.

Lots of acorns, which I don't fight the squirrels and chipmunk for.

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Black walnuts will always be my favorite nut. There is nothing that tastes like them! It's great you have them close by. And how great that you have butternuts! It would be nice if more people would plant them. I'm with you on being concerned about their future in the wild. Maybe I should plant some here in the Pacific Northwest... so many trees in trouble in the East and Midwest find a refuge here, with some distance from their disease and pest problems.

The Shellbark and Shagbark hickories are NOT the same. The Shagbark (Carya ovata) has - as you know - super shaggy bark with big strips. The Shellbark (Carya laciniosa) has more of a plate-like bark. And the Shellbark nuts are quite a bit larger. But I think the Shagbark has a higher ratio nutmeat to shell, lol. The Shellbark is one thick, tough nut! It takes more torque on the vice than a Black Walnut! :O Maybe that's why the squirrels hadn't made off with the nuts I found!

I don't eat most acorns, but some species are worth the effort. The Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana) has acorns that are sweet enough to eat right off the tree, although they still need processing to remove the tannins. And Bur Oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) have such huge acorns! These English Oak acorns are big enough to be worth the effort, too. But they definitely need that leaching!

Beautiful dish! All of these nuts look yummy. I like the ways you cooked and separated them into groups. Well done!

Good luck for Steemit Iron Chef! ;)

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Thanks, @tangmo! You have coconuts in your region, right? Do you have other nuts, too?

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You're welcome! Yes, we have coconuts and other nuts here that we usually found them in the supermarket.....but I think they are not wild nuts like yours! ;)

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I'm fortunate to have so many wild nuts around, that's for sure. It's amazing how many a single tree must have. And how many get wasted on the ground every year. I say -- forage those nuts! :D

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You are good at foraging indeed! ;)

Hazelnut is my top favorite!! With chocolate...oh my!! Bed time here, I must stop imagining it!

I already ate acorns of Quercus rotundifolia and less often Quercus suber, raw and roasted in the fire/ charcoal (yum!)

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Hazelnuts are such good nuts! It would be so fun to eat acorns from your Cork Oak (Quercus suber). They must be such an interesting tree. I think you have had a post or two about the cork oaks. I'm glad you have enjoyed some acorns! You are a forager! :D

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Thanks for reminding me about that!

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Of course! And you saw this week's, yeah?

Awsome post. Tough Category, "Nuts" I use ground up acorn nuts, to supplement or add to flour to make breads and it gives it an extra kick to the taste. Thanks

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Yay for the acorn eaters! :D
Do you have any favorite kinds? I focus on the oaks with the big acorns, lol.

At the end I think we're all nuts! 😅

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haha! I'll admit to that! ; )

Oh god well done! brilliant display I would love to taste them, I have neither tasted acorn nor hickory nuts. I can't say I have a favorite nut but I do enjoy boiled bambara groundnut with a hint of salt

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Thanks, @arhaynez! I have never had any bambara groundnut -- I looked them up, and they look good. It is amazing how many different plants give us food! Enjoy your groundnuts, for sure! :D

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Yeah it is, there are plenty of things we could enjoy if we know where to look for them. Bambara groundnuts sure do have a unique texture for a nut and doesn't taste too bad if you ever have a chance to try them you should.

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I will keep my eyes open at some markets that carry food from other countries. That may be the only way I will be able to try them. So thanks! : )

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Haha alrighty yeah it could be a hassle to try food from different countries

Elegant design! Looks so appetizing!

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Thanks, @olga.maslievich! I hope you are enjoying plenty of nuts, too! :D

lovely nuts... wish I could find a place to forage nuts here ... in the shops they are so expensive ... I love nuts but can rarely afford to buy them as I need to prioritize with buying what I really need hihi

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Nuts are expensive. So I appreciate being able to grow some and forage the others. My pockets are full of nuts in the autumn, lol. I wonder what kinds of nut trees are in your region.

  ·  2년 전

I would love to eat from your plate....
Hell of nutty post you have got there:)

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haha -- it's a nutty post, alright! I had to smile at your comment. Thanks, @xabi! :D

This is impressive decor! It's hard to pick a favorite nut, I like so many but my favourite are pistachios and walnut. I heard that hickory nuts are poisonous ?

Would you eat my plate of nuts?

Of Course, I would love to eat them ;)

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Pistachio nuts really are delicious! It would be nice if they grew around here, but they don't. I'm glad that walnuts do well here! I have never heard of poisonous hickory nuts. The hickory trees that I know are all in the genus Carya. I wonder if 'hickory' is used for another group of trees in your region. I think you would like the hickory nuts on my plate! :D

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There is no hickory trees around my region. Actually my distant friend told me that hickory nuts are poisonous. Her dog ate hickory nuts and got sick and was foaming at the mouth and she took him to emergency vet, now he is alive.

I think you would like the hickory nuts on my plate! :D

Yes, would gladly!!

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That's very interesting. Dogs can get sick from some things that we enjoy -- like chocolate. So I can appreciate that dogs may not be able to eat hickory nuts. I'm glad your friend's dog came through that emergency OK!

What a wonderful and fantastic nuts cooking @haphazard-hstead.
You have always impressed me by your amazing food cooking. I really appreciate your blog and food that you have shared with us.
Wish you best of luck!

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Thanks, @anayakhan! I hope you are enjoying some nuts from your region, too! :D

Its a very healthy food its food good for our health thanks a lot dear for sharing with us ur lovely post @haphazard-hstead

awesome food photography dear @haphazard-hstead
i love your post all time,,, thank you for this post

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I can't wait to try the gingko nuts! Sautéeing with soy sauce sounds awesome!

Awesome idea to forage for those nuts!!!!