Walnut trees typically bear nuts in the early fall. Once the nuts fall to the ground, or the husks can be cut easily from the tree, they are ready to be prepared for eating. Walnuts should be dried before you eat them. Drying walnuts takes a little patience as it cannot be completed overnight, but it doesn't require too much work.
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Begin the drying process within 24 hours of harvesting the walnuts. While it is possible to dry walnuts with the shell on, you can complete the drying process more quickly if you remove the nuts from their shells before drying.
Place the walnuts on a screen bottom tray or in any container that can withstand high heat and will permit air circulation.
Place the walnuts above a furnace or radiator, or any place with air circulation that will reach a temperature of at least 95 degrees. Ideally, the nuts should not be in a temperature above 105 degrees. Drying time in this temperature range will take about three to four days. Drying time in a temperature below 95 degrees can be successful but will take longer.
Test the dryness of the nuts by trying to snap them in the middle. Once the nut's divider snaps easily, the nuts are dried and ready for storage or consumption.