How to Crack a Walnut

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Gathering around the nut bowl is a longstanding holiday tradition, but opening nuts in the shell can be a challenge. Walnuts, in particular, have a thick, hard shell, but a nutcracker makes quick work of them. You can also crack nuts open with your bare hands -- and no, this task doesn't require supernatural strength. Simply use one nut as a lever against the other to create the necessary force. Compared to other snacks, walnuts rank high for their health benefits. They contain ample amounts of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, according to the California Walnuts website.

Using a Nutcracker

Step 1

Hold a walnut between two fingers. Open the nutcracker and place the walnut securely in the center of it.

Step 2

Hold the nutcracker over a bowl or a trash can to catch any debris. Squeeze the nutcracker shut in your hands until the walnut cracks.

Step 3

Open the nutcracker and remove the cracked nut. Carefully pull the nut meats out of the shell. Discard the shell.

The Manual Method

Step 1

Hold two walnuts in the palm of your hand. Line the walnuts up so the ridge of one is slightly inserted in the indentation of the other -- like putting two puzzle pieces together.

Step 2

Close your hand tightly, squeezing the two nuts together.

Step 3

Open your hand. Remove the nut meats from the cracked shell. Discard the shell. This method does not crack both walnuts at once.

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