What Are Bulk Walnuts and What Do They Taste Like?
Bulk walnuts come from a round stone fruit, also called ‘drupe,’ that belongs to the tree-nut family known as Juglandaceae. Walnuts are nutrient-dense, providing a wealth of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
What Climate is Needed For Walnuts to Grow?
Walnut trees need warm, sunny climates with cold winters in order to thrive and eventually bear fruit.
Where Are Walnuts Grown?
Thousands of years ago, walnuts originated in ancient Persia. Now, we can find walnuts all around the world on a commercial level, especially in the United States. The west coast is popular for its California walnuts.
Planting and Growing
Walnut trees are typically planted ten to twenty feet apart in moist soil. The soil needs to provide adequate drainage for the trees to adequately grow, otherwise the trees will develop root-rot.
Around age ten, walnut trees begin to bear nuts. The peak of their production comes around age thirty and can go up to and beyond age fifty.
As black walnut trees develop fruit, the ‘hulls,’ or ‘husks,’ encasing the nuts go from light green to black, splitting open as they become ripe. It’s at this point that the bulk walnuts produce an oil so dark it stains whatever it comes into contact with. Also around this time, the walnuts begin to fall and are ready to be cracked from inside their shells.
Between August and September each year, bulk walnuts are pulled out of their shells as soon as they’ve hit the ground to prevent the black oil from seeping through and tainting their flavor. For English and White walnuts, the hulls are removed with less urgency as there is no oil threatening the nuts within. Removing the walnuts from their hulls/husks is rather challenging as they can be exceptionally difficult to break.
Once broken, the walnuts are rinsed thoroughly to remove the tannins, and laid out to dry for up to two weeks.
After the two weeks is up, the nuts go through a simple readiness test of being broken in half. If they break unevenly, they aren’t ready and require more time to dry, but a clean split down the middle equals a walnut that’s ready to eat.
Walnuts Can Boost Your Mood
Walnuts can help improve your mood due to their impressively high omega-3 fat content. Omega-3 fats, also written as ‘omega-3 fatty acids,’ exist naturally in brain tissue as part of its chemical composition, and are essential for the proper growth and development of the brain.
Omega-3 fats are known to thoroughly combat stress. The lack of omega-3 fatty acids, or more specifically ‘eicosapentaenoic acid,’ EPA, and ‘docosahexaenoic acid,’ DHA, are biologically linked to anxiety and depression. Walnuts can help offset these issues by increasing EPA and DHA levels upon consumption, therefore increasing not only the function of the brain, but the mood you feel.
Heart-Strengthening and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
While omega-3’s are essential for healthy brain function and mood stability, they also pack a punch against heart disease and inflammation.
ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is a plant-based omega-3 that works as an anti-inflammatory, lowering the risk of heart problems by combating arterial plaque build-up.
Additionally, walnuts contain powerful amino acid ‘l-arginine.’ Much like omega-3’s, l-arginine offers benefits to vascular health as it promotes efficient blood flow to and from the heart.
These two nutrients proactively working in tandem make walnuts a must-have for those looking to improve their heart health and decrease their risk of a heart attack.
Protein-Rich, Blood Sugar Balancers
When your body lacks protein, fiber, fatty acids, and other vital nutrients it needs to sustain your metabolism, it has a hard time maintaining a stable weight and blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar maintenance is imperative to preventing diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and hypoglycemia.
The high protein content in bulk walnuts can help balance your blood sugar levels, making you feel fuller for longer as they control your appetite and prevent overeating.
Next time your body is craving a snack, go for a handful of our bulk walnuts. Not only will they help with your cravings, they’ll also supply you with a wealth of copper, phosphorous, manganese, folic acid, thiamine, and biotin.
Though there are over ten different types of walnuts, they are classified by three distinct categories: English, black, and white.
English walnuts, known as ‘Juglans regia,’ are native to Persia and are known for their thin shells and mild in flavor compared to their black and white counterparts. This species is the most commonly consumed walnut type.
Black walnuts, or ‘Juglans nigra,’ contain highly pigmented, thick, hard-to-crack shells, sharper physical features, and a potent earthy flavor and aroma. This species is smaller and crunchier than English walnuts. They are central to California and the Appalachian regions of the United States.
White walnuts; ‘Juglans cineria,’ are also central to the Appalachian regions of the United States, as well as the Mississippi Valley. White walnuts are characterized by their sweet flavor, and are less common than English and Black walnuts as they are at risk of endangerment.
Culinary Uses of Walnuts
- Incorporate crushed walnuts into cookie, cake, and brownie batters for a soft, healthy crunch
- Add ground walnuts to chicken or fish before baking or sauteeing them
- Sprinkle bulk walnuts onto yogurt for added texture
- Toss them into trail mix for more variety
- Enjoy a handful of bulk walnuts as a snack, which we highly recommend
Walnut oil is widely used as a base, or ‘carrier,’ for massage and aromatherapy oils. It’s particularly popular for massage therapy because of its moisturizing properties for dry, aged skin.
Walnut oil is also used to make pigments and dyes, and can prove beneficial for restoring wood to a more hydrated finish.
Storage and Shelf Life of Walnuts
Walnuts have a naturally high amount of oil, meaning they’re best off in the pantry if you plan to use them between one to four weeks. If you need them to last beyond four weeks, no problem – Stick them in the fridge where they’ll keep for up to six months.
Need them for an additional six months? Try freezing your walnuts instead.
Interesting Facts About Walnuts
- Walnuts were the oldest type of tree food known to ancient humanity, and date back to as early as 7,000 BC.
- Walnut ink and dye is thought to have been used in paintings by famous late artists Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci.
- Walnuts were an important trade commodity along the Silk Road trading route connecting Middle East to Asia.
- Walnut trees can grow up to one hundred feet tall.
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