There are lots of things to love about this time of year: the cooler temperatures, the changing leaves, football games, fresh apple cider, and the smell of frost first thing in the morning. Another great thing about autumn is that it’s a great time to get out in the woods and forage wild, edible nuts.
The foraging of nuts is something that dates back thousands of years when our gatherer ancestors hoarded nuts by the bushel full, often relying on them as their sole source of food during the winter. Even now, when food is plentiful, it’s still a good idea to gather as many wild nuts as you can find. They’re a great, organic source of:
- Multiple vitamins
Collecting a valuable and affordable source of food is just one of the things you’ll enjoy about gathering wild nuts this fall. It’s an excellent way to get exercise while also communing with nature, something none of us seem to do often enough these days. There are seven specific types of nuts you should look for this fall.
There are very few parts of the country that doesn’t have at least one species of acorn bearing oak trees, and you shouldn’t leave all of these acorns to the deer and squirrels. The kernals inside of the acorn are an excellent source of both carbohydrates and protein, making them a great choice as a mid-day snack.
What you don’t want to do is eat the acorn in the state you found it. The nut is filled with something called tannins which gives the unaltered nut a bitter taste. The best way to free the nut of the foul tasting tannins is boiling the nuts in water for fifteen minutes. At this point the water will be brown. Replacing the brown water with fresh boiling water. Keep repeating the processs until the water remains clear.
Don’t throw the tannins stained water away. Save it and use it as a topical wash that removes the sting from insect bites and sunburns.
Getting to the meat inside of the black walnut isn’t easy, the nuts are tough, but once you get your first taste of wild grown black walnut, you’ll agree that the effort is more than worthwhile.
The simplest way to deal with the stubborn black walnut husk is hitting it with a hammer over and over again until it breaks open. Since the juice will stain anything it comes into contact with, it’s best to break open the nuts outside or on a table that you’re not fond of. After removing the nut meat from the husk, you’ll want to leave it out in the sunlight for a few hours to dry before you eat it.
If you raise pigs, you can feed them black walnuts Tutuapp APK, which acts as a natural wormer.
Hickory nuts can be a tasty food source, but foraging for them can be tricky. Some types taste fantastic while others are horribly bitter. The hickory nuts you want to gather come from either the Shellbark hickory tree which has a loose bark that peels away from the trunk in narrow strips and the Shagbark hickory which can be easily identified by its shaggy barks that tends to build up at the base of the tree’s trunk.
Beechnuts are an excellent source of protein. As soon as you gather the beech nuts, you’ll want to roast them since unlike other nuts that keep a long time, beechnuts quickly spoil. You can either roast the in direct sunlight or in your oven. Some people like to cold press the beechnuts in order to extract the oil.
Butternuts are packed full of nutritional goodness, they’re high in protein and fat, making them a great choice when you need a quick energy boost. Since the kernel quickly breaks down, you need to use them shortly after they’ve been gathered. They’re wonderful raw or roasted. You can also use them to add some crunch to pies, cakes, muffins, and breads.
Technically speaking, the pecan is a type of hickory nut. It tastes great raw, when added to ice cream, or when added to your favorite baked goods. When you are foraging for pecans, don’t be surprised when the nuts you find are a bit smaller than the ones you purchase at the store.
When it comes to foraging for nuts, most people don’t think about checking out pine groves, but there are some pines that produce an edible nut. The species are:
- Ponderosa Pine
- Sugar Pine
- Stone Pine
- Digger Pine
- Pinon Pine
The nuts produced by these trees strongly resemble sunflower seeds.
Have fun foraging for nuts this fall!