This morning I got up and saw to my surprise a large paper bag full of fresh walnuts in the hall. Now my girlfriend Immy recently sent me some pictures of their walnut harvest from the garden, yet I have not been there to fill a bag. How do we get them?
The nuts come from the south of our country, from a tree of a friend of Eric. The tree apparently had only 1 walnut last year, now the tree gave enough for 10 well-filled bags. And what could be better than fresh nuts? Just bliss. We like to eat the nuts with a salad or sprinkle it over a smoothie. With a good nutcracker at hand, it is easy.
Everyone has something to share. Freshly picked, picked or pulled out of the ground. It reminds me of earlier times when I was a child and we had our own garden with the family. There my sister and I were allowed to sow flowers on the side and the rest of the garden was full of potatoes, beans, lettuce, rhubarb, kale and no doubt much more that I cannot remember right now. As soon as we could we walked to the garden; big smile on our (then still small) mouth, cap boots on, to the large rain barrel filled with rain water and where our blue flower buckets were already hanging on the side of a string ready to be used by us. Busy with the flowers and our parents with the vegetables we could spend hours there. Now picking apples and pears and picking the nuts, I am suddenly back there, in the good old days that we still got our own food fresh from the land.
What are walnuts and what are they good for?
Walnut or walnut usually refers to the fruit of the common walnut or walnut tree (Juglans regia). The fruit is surrounded by a hard, two-part bowl, the shell. While growing on the tree, it is also protected by a sturdy green husk that bursts open during ripening. The name walnut originally means strange or non-Germanic nut. Walnuts are widely grown in countries with a temperate climate. Warm summers and relatively cold to mild winters are an ideal climate. The walnut harvest takes place from September to November. You can pick them up, ‘club them’ out of the tree or pick them with a harvesting machine. Walnuts are not eaten fresh from the tree. After harvesting, the fruits are dried for a few weeks in a well-ventilated area or by drying them, for example in small batches, for some time in the heating or oven. The protective yellow seed coat that tastes bitter dries and releases. Provided it is well dried, the nuts can be stored in the refrigerator for a good six months in a well-closed box or storage jar. If they start to taste dirty, it means that the fats that contain the nuts will oxidize and thereby produce toxic substances. Even then, they are no longer suitable for consumption. Walnuts contain in particular the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium. They are also a source of vitamin B1, gamma tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) and folic acid.
What do we use them for?
At BitterSweetz you can find the walnuts in different cakes. In the bottom of the Lemon Limon, in the Chocolate Cake and the Nuts Chocolate Rounds. Are you coming to taste them quickly?