Black walnut trees are native to the eastern half of North America. A common sight wherever they grow, you might have one in your own backyard. You can recognize a black walnut tree from the large green hulls that fall from its branches, littering the ground and feeding the squirrels through fall and winter. Some people see this bountiful harvest as an eyesore, but others collect the walnuts for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes. For these reasons, if you have a black walnut tree near your home, you should count it a blessing.
Eating Black Walnuts
The most obvious of the black walnut uses is its culinary role as an edible nut. Black walnuts can be consumed raw, roasted, candied, and more. You can toast fresh walnuts in the stove or in a pan. Once aromatic and lightly crisp, these nuts make excellent additions to salads, pasta dishes, granola, grain and vegetable dishes, and a variety of deserts.
If you have a large bounty of black walnuts, the nut meat can be carefully stored in a refrigerator for up to a year, or for years in proper freezer storage. Of course, you don’t need a black walnut tree to start exploring various black walnut uses. You’ll find them available at a grocery, local farmer’s market, or available for bulk delivery online.
Black Walnut for Wellness
Black walnuts aren’t just delicious and crunchy, they’re also highly nutritious. Black walnuts are not as well-studied as its close relative the English walnut, but the two nuts are all but identical when it comes to flavor, nutrition, and all around usefulness. The nut meats are high in essential fatty acids, protein, manganese, and important B vitamins. Numerous studies indicate that regular walnut consumption has potential effects on eyesight, cardiovascular function, and cognitive ability later in life.
Walnut Tinctures and Oil
Walnut oil has been used as a cooking ingredient for hundreds of years, for its characteristic flavor and possible health benefits. Walnut meats and hulls can also be used to create a black walnut tincture, for which there are further possible benefits. Because walnuts are so plentiful in the geographical area in which they grow, concentrated tincture supplements are relatively economical.
Growing Black Walnuts
If you’re interested in experimenting with black walnut uses, and you live in a climate similar to that of the American Midwest, you may be able to grow a black walnut tree of your very own. It will likely take 4 years of growth before your black walnut seedling is mature enough to produce