Many people enjoy the distinctive taste and affordability of hickory nuts. As soon as hickory nuts begin to fall from a hickory tree in the autumn, collect them for use in a variety of different ways in the kitchen. Make delicious pies that are similar to pecan pies or roast them and use them in savory cooking and sweet baking recipes.
Gather the hickory nuts in the autumn when they are ripe. Look for hickory nuts on the ground as an indication that they are ripe and ready to pick. Place the hickory nuts into your basket.
Fill the bucket to the top with water and place the hickory nuts into the water immediately after picking them. Discard any hickory nuts that float because these nuts may have insects inside the shell or may be empty of nutmeat.
Drain the remaining hickory nuts and spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in a cool, dry location and allow the nuts to dry for one week.
Place the dried nuts onto the wooden cutting board and use the hammer to crack the outer shells. Separate the nutmeats from the shells and collect the nutmeats in a bowl.
Eat the hickory nuts fresh and raw in their natural state as a healthy and delicious snack.
Roast the nutmeats. Set the oven to 350 degrees and place the hickory nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Salt lightly if you desire and roast the nuts for 30 minutes, stirring several times during the roasting time. Remove the baking sheet when the hickory nuts are brown. Use roasted hickory nuts in a mixed nut assortment or use them in recipes.
Crack the hickory nuts into smaller pieces with the hammer and add them to baked recipes, such as quick breads, cookies and bars. Use hickory nuts in savory sauces and salads also. Add them in the same way you would add any nuts in a recipe.
Grind the hickory nuts in the nut grinder until they are finely ground. Add the ground hickory nuts to recipes for desserts and other baked goods. Add ground hickory nuts to fruit smoothies.
Replace pecans with hickory nuts to make a hickory nut pie. Use your favorite pecan pie recipe and use hickory nuts instead of pecans.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.