Have you been seeing all of the pecans falling from the trees the last few weeks? I have and I couldn’t wait to gather some. I planted some nut trees this spring, so I have several years to wait for mine to produce. Luckily, I know someone who has a giant pecan tree in their front yard so I could gather all I wanted.
Since I don’t have any way to reach the high ones, I found it easier to simply pick up the ones that had fallen to the ground, being on the lookout for the really light ones that were rotten.
With two sacks full of pecans, now the question was what to do with them all. I certainly wouldn’t be able to eat them all while they were still good.
After a little research, I found the best way to save pecans is by freezing, and with all of the rest of my garden done for the winter, I have plenty of time to sit and crack pecans.
While it’s not hard, it is definitely time consuming. I decided the entire bowl was a bit too much to do at once, so I would work on the pecans for about an hour a night, making pretty good progress.
Pecans are one of the easiest things I have preserved so far. Once the pecans are shelled just toss them into a freezer ziplock bag and they are done. You can add to the bag as you go.
I look forward to having my own pecans on hand throughout the winter for all of those tasty recipes. There are so many times I simply leave the nuts out of a recipe I decide to do on the spur of the moment because I don’t have nuts on hand.
I froze mine whole, but you could chop them if you wanted before freezing. I’ll just chop mine as I go.
Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!
Half cup chopped pecans (or to taste)
Half large green apple, chopped (or to taste)
Prepare the pancake mix according to the directions, then mix in the pecans and apples. Cook until golden brown.
Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at email@example.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.