Local Hazelnut Harvest

It's time to gather hazelnuts (aka filberts) at Norm Lehne Garden and Orchards. Grab your leaf rake, gloves, and some old volleyball knee pads and head on out there.

Cracking the hazelnuts is time-consuming. I put a single layer in a gallon ziplock bag, seal it, and give each nut a quick pop with a hammer. After I have a good amount cracked, I watch tv while I sort out the nuts from the shells, then I bag them up and store them in the freezer.

What will I do with all those hazelnuts? 

Well, I start off roasting a big pan of them following these directions.  Then, I can use the roasted nuts to make hazelnut milk (following any directions for almond milk, but no need to soak the nuts if they are roasted). Or, I might make a batch of Hazelnut Butter to use instead of peanut butter for cookies, sandwiches, or dipping apple slices in.

I could use some in a batch of granola. Or chop some and add to this salad. I also love to eat the roasted hazelnuts by the handful as a snack or toss some into my oatmeal.

No need to roast the nuts beforehand for this Hazelnut-crusted Chicken. It's a big hit with kids and adults alike.

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