Walnuts fresh off the tree cannot be eaten in their current state. These nuts are too moist and will have a bland flavour. Improve the taste and shelf life of your walnut harvest through drying and roasting the nuts. Shell the nuts prior to drying speeds both the drying and roasting process. When looking for a spot to dry your nuts, find one with optimum drying conditions. These include a constant flow of air an a temperature of 35 to 40.6 degrees Celsius, according to the Oregon State Extension office. (see Reference 2, page 1)
Crack and remove the shells of the fresh walnuts with the nutcracker.
Fill the mesh sack loosely with the walnuts.
Hang the bag in front of a warm radiator or heater vent or in front of a box fan in a warm, sunny location for two to four days or until the partition between the walnut halves snaps when broken.
Refrigerate or freeze the walnuts until you are ready to roast them. Place the nuts in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one year or freeze for up to two years. (see Reference 2, page 2)
Spread the nuts on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius.
Roast the walnuts for 5 to 12 minutes at 177 degrees Celsius or until golden brown. Store leftover roasted nuts in the refrigerator for two to three weeks in a sealed container. (see Reference 1)