Canning Nuts?

malnaAugust 14, 2013

So I was just gifted with 40 pounds of fresh pecans still in the shell from a friend in Texas and thought I'd can some since they won't all fit in the freezer(s).

NCHFP no longer has canning instructions for nuts except for green peanuts and nothing on OSU's site that I could find.

I found an old set of directions (we joke about the 1999 and older guidelines being back in the 1900's) but I thought it was curious they are no longer published on "approved" sites.

No longer safe? Quality suffers? Any ideas?

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I saved some from my cousin in NM, just by putting them in a mouse-proof can (still in shell), lasted several years.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 3:34PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Oregon State has instructions for canning walnuts (PC or BWB). I don't see any reason why pecans wouldn't be the same.


Here is a link that might be useful: Preserving Walnuts and Filberts OSU

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 4:12PM
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I found that it is NO LONGER recommended at the link below (the NCHFP blog which didn't come up in my first attempt at searching).

Just in case anybody's curious :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Where Did the Nut Meats Go?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 5:15PM
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tombug(5b N Central Ohio)

Another method would be to vacuum seal them in canning jars using a Food Saver type machine with the proper attachments.
No heat or water required.
Very quick & easy if you have the equipment.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 5:23PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Wow! Thanks for sharing that malna. I had no idea, but then I've never canned nuts myself. They've always gone into the freezer.

One of the budget issues with Extension agencies is with cutbacks they often lack funds for staff to monitor what's posted online and pull what's no longer approved. Another sad consequence of reductions.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:53PM
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The freezer is your best bet. If you shell them, they won't take up as much room. It's kind of late in the year to still have them in the shell unless they have been kept cool. They are probably still good, but I would shell them for the freezer as soon as possible. Because of the oil content, they may go rancid at room temperature within a few months of harvest, which is in the fall. Once they are in the freezer, they will have a nearly infinite shelf life with good quality, especially if you vacuum seal them. We once found a "lost" package in the freezer that was over 7 years old, and they still tasted good! Believe me, I know pecans. We have a number of pecan trees of different varieties and harvested over 900 lbs last year. I still have quite a few unshelled because I went back to work and something had to go by the wayside. You can store them in the freezer shelled or unshelled, but unshelled will take up a lot more room. If you don't have room in the freezer or have time to shell them, put them in the coolest place in your house. I was intrigued by canning them and wanted to try it but never got around to it by the time they changed the recommendation. I also have little room left in the freezer. I'd seen the changes to the recommendations, but still may test a few jars that way just to see. We pretty much live on the things we grow, and there are SO MANY uses for pecans other than dessert that most people never think of...pecan milk, pecan butter instead of peanut butter, add cocoa and you have something similar to nutella, breading for fish, chicken or meat, pie crusts, and the list goes on and on!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Thanks for the ideas. We do love pecan crusted chicken and fish. We don't eat sweets, but I'll try some of the other things you mentioned. I'll find room for them in the freezer today, and shelling them can wait to be a good winter night project.

It is sad that funding has been cut just when so many people are getting back into canning. I called our state extension service inquiring about a Master Food Preserver program. That was cut along with a lot of gardening programs. Very, very sad.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:32AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Malna, try checking with other nearby counties about MFP programs. We had something similar happen here. Lost funding in one county, but I was able to commute to classes in another. Yes, it was a 90-minute drive each way, but worth it to me. MFP volunteers are trying to bring it back to my county and conducting classes here for the public. Don't give up!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:32AM
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In Indiana the MFP course is limited to 8 people per class and they only have the class 2x per year, at the opposite end of state. I haven't checked IL, do the certification carry from one state to another?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

It is true, we have no money, really. The "higher ups" don't feel it is worth spending money on.
We do offer some classes to the public, but tonight is the last one for the season. I am teaching on pressure canning.
The MFP course is also once a year, but only for people who live in our county.
One of the options is to take an online course. It will be lecture only in most places. A few in the country do have some hands-on classes after you finish their online course. I know Idaho State has an online course and so does Iowa.
I have considered getting liability insurance, then going to places around the local area to instruct.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Sorry, certification doesn't carry over from one state to another. At least not here it doesn't.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 7:32PM
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