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Pine nuts [moved from the Greater Boston Area board]

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I was given a couple of pounds of unshelled pine nuts gathered in Colorado. How do I shell them and is it worth it? One web site offering unshelled pine nuts suggests that they make excellent bird food!

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  1. if they already out of the pine cone, boil them for 1 hour at low simmer, then the shells get soft and you can crack them - then you can eat them - this is what we used to do when I was a kid ... if they are still in cones, you can still boil them without taking them out, but it will take longer. We used to eat them like sunflower seeds - pop them in your mouth and crack the shell then eat.

    1. Some pine nuts have much harder shells than others. I've had some that were easy to open with my fingernails and others that required a pair of pliers. In-the-shell pine nuts are great for a self-limiting snack; you soon get tired and put them away. For recipes that may call for a quarter cup or more of pine nuts, head for Sam's Club and the already shelled kind!