Hazelnut, often referred to as hazelnut and hazel, stands out from its nutty brothers for its beneficial properties. At the same time, the hazelnut not only has a unique composition, but is also very tasty. Today we will be engaged in the procurement of these nuts for the winter.
When is it best to pick hazelnuts
If you decide to stock up on hazelnuts for the winter, it is necessary not to miss the season of their ripening, which, depending on the climatic conditions of the place of growth of the nuts, as well as their varieties, falls in July-September.
Of course, you can collect green hazelnuts, because even they already possess all their inherent beneficial properties, but you can save them for no longer than a month. Therefore, it is recommended to harvest only ripened fruits, since you can save them if you wish so long. A sure sign of maturity of a hazelnut is considered to be brown, and sometimes yellow color of the peel. These nuts are found on the bushes in late August, but hazelnuts continue to ripen until mid-September. In late September-early October, the nuts overripe and begin to crumble from the bushes, thus marking the end of the harvest.
How to pick a hazelnut
Hazelnuts are also harvested in the same way as the more common walnuts - soft fabric is spread under a bush and a nut bush begins to shake.
After that, the collected fruits need to be peeled. For this, we advise you to use a small hammer, which should be careful to hit the shell in order to avoid damage to the core. However, you can save the nuts in the peel.
Now go to the next step - drying.
How to dry hazelnuts nuts at home
Only dried hazelnuts can please long shelf life. That is why after the harvest of the nuts has been collected, care should be taken how to dry them.
You can dry hazelnuts in several ways:
• In a pan, • In an electric dryer, • In an oven, • In the sun.
Drying hazelnuts in a frying pan
Shelled hazelnuts poured into a preheated pan and set it on fire. Constantly stirring, fry the nuts for 3-5 minutes. This time will be enough to increase the shelf life of the nuts, while all the nutrients in them will be saved.
Drying hazelnuts in an electric dryer
Only peeled peels are suitable for drying in an electric dryer, since electrical appliances of this kind are not designed for high temperatures, which are necessary for drying nuts in the shell.
To dry the nuts should be at a temperature not higher than 90 degrees for 5-6 hours, periodically changing the position of the trays for uniform drying.
Drying hazelnuts in the oven
If you decide to dry the nuts in the oven, it is not necessary to pre-clean them from the peel.
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, send them to the oven preheated to 120 degrees for several hours.
You can dry in the oven and peeled nuts, only in this case, the temperature must be reduced to 90 degrees.
Drying hazelnuts in the sun
If in the region of your residence the sun spoils you with its warm rays even after the hazelnut harvest has been gathered, you can dry them outdoors. Lay out a thin layer of nuts on a clean sheet of paper, place it in a well-ventilated sunny place. At night and in the rain, nuts must be brought into the room so that they do not collect excess moisture. After a couple of days, the nuts will be dried and ready for long-term storage.
How to store hazelnuts
As already mentioned above, only ripe walnuts that have dried out well in compliance with all the recommendations can boast a long shelf life.
Dried hazelnuts without shell should be stored in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dark, cool place. You can put the peeled nuts in a bag and send to the fridge. However, even with such storage, nuts can retain their useful properties for no more than six months.
Dried inshell nuts are recommended to be stored in a cloth or paper bag in a dry cool dark place.
Periodically do not forget to check the nuts for the presence of mold spots and rot. If this is found, then in no case try to “resurrect” the nuts, they are one way - in the trash. The use of moldy nuts can cause a strong allergic reaction and cause a serious blow to the liver, because they form dangerous substances - aflatoxins, which produce mold fungi, and most importantly - they are not afraid of heat treatment and are not removed from the body.
Dear visitors of our portal, you may know other ways of collecting, drying and storing hazelnuts, we would appreciate if you share them with us in the comments to this article.