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Feb 8, 2010 01:13 PM

What would you do with pounds and pounds of walnuts?

We went walnut-picking at a friend's orchard a few months ago, and we've slowly, very slowly, been eating our way through them. We have about 40 pounds left, I'd guess!

What would you do with them? Walnut butter is one thing I've been contemplating. They're in the shell, so doing anything with them is rather work intensive.

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  1. Granola can use them up relatively quickly, and makes a popular gift. I also use extra walnuts in quickbreads that I then pre-slice and freeze to make them hearty (somewhat healthy) ready-to-go breakfasts. I also add a handful of walnuts to either yogurt or oatmeal to add protein/heft to other breakfasts.

    That said, with 40 lbs, you probably should freeze some and/or give some away so that they don't go rancid. It often takes me 6 mos. to go through a 5 lb. bag and I've never run into this problem, but you might given how long that could take.

    1. Tons of things to do with them...walnut pie, add to stuffings, breads, cookies, brownies, cakes; sprinkle on salads (one of my fav's is blue cheese or smoked gouda, bacon, toasted walnut combination). Use in a pesto instead of pine nuts; grind & use to coat meat before cooking, i.e, chicken, fish, pork etc. And don't forget that nuts can be frozen for longer storage.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        A pesto is a great idea, as is granola. I'm looking specifically for big-batch recipes that will use them up. Pesto freezes well, and cilantro goes nicely in place of basil.

        1. re: Cherylptw

          I just made a pesto with flat-leaf parsley, garlic, walnuts, and pecorino romano -- it's crazy good.

          I eat walnuts pretty close to every day -- I just keep them in the freezer and they keep for months, easily. I toast them from freezer-temp in a couple minutes in the microwave.

          I honestly would not do walnut butter, because it would be SUCH an ordeal getting all the skins off the walnuts. But Derby pie, granola, and shortbread cookies would use up a bunch, and then the rest could go in the freezer to be used as you needed them for banana bread or to top yogurt or whatever.

          1. re: LauraGrace

            A similar pesto is fresh spinach, walnuts, pecorino romano, fresh garlic. cracked black pepper, sea salt or kosher, and olive oil. Super great and its kid friendly. Hot freshly baked baquettes, also easy to make go great with it. With so many walnuts I'd make it for a standby. It's a great pesto that will freeze nicely to use for pasta, or a pizza base. Mix it with ricotta and it makes great filling for ravioli.

        2. When our friends send us walnuts in 10 lb bags I grind them to a coarse meal and use in pastry/pie crusts, in breading, pesto, cookies, smoothies, savory dishes, ice cream, energy bars and butters. I typically grind the entire bag and freeze in 2 cup batches. Uses all year long.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            wow! love the idea of putting into pastry and cookies especially.

            1. re: cinnamon girl

              As far as pastry goes you could make linzertorte-esque pies, using walnuts instead of almonds and whatever flavor jam you prefer.

          2. It is imperative that you have a walnut pickin' party immediately, where you crack and extract the meats, for freezing. 40 lbs is a lot, and some may end up as gifts to your friends for their own pickin' party. But seriously, they need to be processed for freezing or quick use so that you can evaluate which of the suggestions for use are right for you.

            1. Make lots and lots of baklava?