Pecan trees, by and large, shed the husks or shells containing the pecan nuts during the Fall. The nuts that drop to the ground in the autumn tend to be fully ripe, and therefore ready for harvesting. The shells, upon drying, crack open on their own in due course, and the covering enveloping the nut kernel turns brown.
On the other hand, if you find that a good number of the pecan nuts that have fallen off the trees are green, then you can conclude they’re unripe. Now, there could be various reasons why the nuts fall off while they’re still green or raw. More often than not, trees shed green pecan nuts when they become overloaded with the fruits to maintain balance.
Sometimes, pests feeding on the nuts, lead to husks falling to the ground. Other reasons include nutritional deficiency, poor pollination, and inadequate watering. Anyway, green pecans have a soft and gelatinous texture, taste extremely bitter as they’re yet to ripen fully, and lack the nutty and buttery aroma of ripe pecans.
Can you eat green or raw pecans that have fallen off the pecan tree?
Can you eat green or raw pecans that have fallen off after roasting or toasting them? No, you cannot eat the green nuts that fall off prematurely from the trees as they’ve still not ripened. Only those nuts that ripen fully by Fall (and hence ready to harvest) are worth eating as they have the rich invigorating flavor you normally associate with nuts.
The husks housing the kernels eventually crack, revealing the auburn inner shells containing the nuts. You can process the nuts and make them ready for munching by roasting or baking them. Roasted pecans taste heavenly. The pecan is one kind of hickory that is native to states in the Southern US, especially the hinterland of the Mississippi River and Northern Mexico.
If you’re wondering as to where you can buy pecans, then you can surely buy pecans online. Alternatively, you can also buy fresh pecans offline, from grocery and convenience stores. You’ll find varieties of pecans for sale, including candied pecans, shelled pecans, Texas pecans, San Saba pecans, and cracked pecans. Be careful as some stores sell grade 2 pecans from previous seasons.
Removing pecans from the green husks and allowing them to dry
Yes, you can eat the unripe pecans that have fallen off ahead of time, but you’ll have to exercise caution while trying to peel off the green shell. In case you are unable to peel off the skin, even after taking the necessary precautions, implies that the nuts fell a little too early. These nuts cannot at all be salvaged.
You’ll have to put on a pair of protective leather gloves to prevent your hands from touching the outer husk of the raw pecans. If you touch the green shells with your bare hands, then your hands will be dyed black, and you’ll have a hard time getting rid of the tint. Take hold of a raw pecan nut with your left gloved hand, and drive a blade of a knife carefully through the husk till the tough inner shell becomes visible.
The thickness of this greenish inner husk is about 1/4th of an inch. Retain the knife’s blade in position, and separate the inner kernel by cautiously turning the entire nut. Create two circles perpendicular to each other around the shell, and tug on each section with the knife’s tip so as to extricate the green kernel from the hard inner covering.
Remove any remaining green spots and keep these kernels in a warm and dry area that is well-ventilated. The nuts will dry thoroughly and turn brown in a week or so, rendering them edible.
The green pecans that you dry manually surely won’t taste as great as the ones that ripened naturally on the trees. But at least you’ll have the satisfaction that they didn’t go to waste. References https://oureverydaylife.com/how-to-remove-pecans-from-the-green-shell-before-they-are-ready-13426643.html https://baganut.com/blogs/news/should-green-pecans-be-picked-up https://homeguides.sfgate.com/pecans-still-good-theyve-fallen-tree-still-husk-103930.html https://homeguides.sfgate.com/pecans-still-good-theyve-fallen-tree-still-husk-103930.html https://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2008/10/pecan-tree-question.html
Hi! My name is Kristen Millican and I am so glad you have stopped by! Our family has been harvesting and selling pecans since 1888. I love sharing various pecan recipes, stories about life on our pecan farm, and so much more!