If you're lucky enough to have walnuts, hazelnuts or filberts, and the birds have allowed you to keep a few, it's an easy matter to dry the nuts. The result will be the rich, delicious flavor of nuts dried naturally and slowly. Snack on them straight from the shell, or add them to your favorite recipe.
Things You'll Need
- Nuts in the shells
- Tray or screen
Spread the nuts in a thin layer on screens or trays.
Place the nuts where they can dry naturally and slowly from an exposure to a steady, gentle air flow. A cool, clean, dry attic, porch or garage is best. Most varieties of nuts will require several weeks to dry completely, except for chestnuts, which will dry in about 4 to 7 days. Don't dry chestnuts longer than necessary, or they will be inedible.
Test for dryness by checking to see if the nuts shake loosely in their shells. Shell one to see if it is light in color, and if it breaks with a pop or snap when you bite it. The flavor shouldn't be heavy or bitter.
Tips & Warnings
- Dry a handful of nuts quickly in a furnace room or on trays near a heater or radiator, as long as the temperature is continually less than 100 degrees. Nuts dried in this manner will only require 2 to 4 days.
- Don't allow the nuts to dry too long, or the shells will split.
- Nuts can be dried successfully in a food dehydrator if you are able to adjust the heat to below 100 degrees. Nuts dried in a food dehydrator will take about 8 to 10 hours to dry completely.
- Avoid drying nuts in the oven. They won't have adequate air circulation, and the oven will produce too much heat to dry the nuts properly.
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