Today I am going to talk about canning nuts. Why? Simply Because they are free and are everywhere in the woods. Black Walnuts are delicious and some say taste cheesy. White walnuts or “butternuts” are oilier and sweeter than black walnuts. The best part? Walnuts contain an omega-3 fatty acid and heart-healthy sterols. To get started you will need some canning supplies so read over the procedure before starting so that you can get a list of what you have and what you need.
1. Wash the jars and lids. The dishwasher is fine for the jars if it get hot enough to kill bacteria. Otherwise put the jars in water and bring it to a boil for about 10 minutes. The lids I put in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic “lid wand” (available from Pressure cooker outlet) to pull them out.
2. Heat up the pressure cooker. Follow the instructions that came with the canner, however you’re going to fill it up with about 4-5 inches water and put the canning rack on the bottom. Put it on the stove over low heat and keep the lid off of the cooker. Preheat the oven.
3. Shell the nuts, I use a Black Walnut Cracker.
4. Bake the nuts Place a single layer of nuts on a baking pans and place in a 250°F oven. Stir them occasionally, heating only until the nuts are dry but not browned. You must warm the nuts up before canning them
5. Put the nuts into the jars Pack hot nuts into half pint or pint jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Do not add liquid to the canning jars. Wipe jar rims. Do this quickly so the nuts do not cool down.
6. Put the lids and rings on Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring on and screwing it down snugly. Using the jar tongs, put the jars on the rack in the canner. The water is probably boiled down to 3 inches. If it is lower than that, add more hot water to the canner. When all the jars that the canner will hold are in, put on the lid and twist it into place, but leave tube open, without the weight.
7. Put the jars in the canner and place the lid on the canner.
8. Let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.
9. Put the weight on and let the pressure build
10. After 10 minutes of letting seam vent, put the weight on allow the pressure to build to 11 pounds.
11. Process the nuts in the pressurized canner for 10 minutes Adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain pressure. Consult your instruction booklet for your canner’s exact processing time. If you can not find your owner’s manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer’s manuals: Pressure cooker outlet can help you there too.
12. Turn off the stove’s heat and let the canner cool down
13. Remove the jars, once the pressure has droped. Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a towel. Do this carefully without touching or bumping and let them sit overnight undisturbed. The jars are sealed if the lid has been sucked down which you will notice once they cool.
The jars of nuts are safe to store on the shelf, preferably a cool, dark place, for 1 to 2 years!