A friend gave us a 20 pounds of walnuts-in-the-shell from a local orchard. I made a dent in shelling them today.
I wouldn't say I'm very skillful at the shelling. In a little over an hour, I perhaps made it through 1 or 2 pounds. Since we mainly use them chopped in baked goods or sprinkled on salads, I'm not concerned with shelling them perfectly to maintain the beautiful shape of each half (or whole). I don't think my cheapo nutcracker is very capable of helping me achieve a perfect crack anyway.
Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts to consume. In addition, they're less expensive than other healthy nuts, such as almonds. A good choice all around.
“When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts definitely are not a hard nut to crack. This delicious nut is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a special type of protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnuts' concentration of omega-3s (a quarter-cup provides 90.8% of the daily value for these essential fats) has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.”
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