Can you eat black walnuts?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat black walnuts?”. We will also answer other questions related to the subject including what is the best time to harvest black walnuts, its health benefits, how can you use black walnuts, and more. 

Can you eat black walnuts? 

Yes, you can eat black walnuts. Black walnuts are full of flavour and can be used for a variety of purposes.

What are black walnuts? 

Black walnuts, or Juglans nigra, grow wild throughout the United States. Black walnuts, after the English walnuts, are the second most cultivated walnuts. They have a kernel, a hull which a dry outer covering, and a hard shell. 

The kernel of the black walnuts can be eaten raw or roasted. It is also pressed for oil. The hull has antioxidants that are used in supplements and extracts for medicinal purposes, like treating parasite infections or reducing inflammation.

When do black walnuts fall? 

The fruit is set in summer but the nutmeat gets ready till fall. Some of the hulled nuts can be very big, as much as a fist and you may want to put on a hard hat while walking under a black walnut tree.

When is the best time to harvest black walnuts? 

The best time to harvest black walnuts is in Autumn. In the native region of the tree, in Eastern North America, the fruit drops from September to October. The dropped has are usually ripened, but you should still check their appearance to be sure of it. The fruit that is unripe will be green, whereas the ripe fruit will be yellowish.

Why is wearing gloves important when harvesting black walnuts? 

It is important that you wear gloves while harvesting black walnuts because the hulls have a strong dye that will leave permanent dark brown colour on your fingers if not covered. The outside of the husks can stain anything. Interestingly, walnuts were used to colour clothes and baskets in the past.

Are black walnuts good for your health? 

Yes, black walnuts are good for your health because they are rich in antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and many other bioactive compounds that are beneficial to your health. Black walnuts have the highest protein as compared to any nut tree. 

Walnuts are also an excellent source of vitamin A, fibre, iron, and minerals. Here are some of the health benefits of black walnuts:

Improve cardiovascular health

Black walnuts are linked to improved cardiovascular health. These nuts are rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that are important for your health. 

Reduces blood pressure 

Arginine is an amino acid found in black walnuts that changes into nitric acid in the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning, it enlarges your blood vessels and reduces your blood pressure levels. 

Improved cholesterol levels 

Walnuts have plant sterol that is required by your body to limit the absorption of cholesterol, and this effect helps lower the levels of cholesterol in your body. 

Reduced risk of prostate cancer 

Black walnuts have y-tocopherol, and in fact, they’re a rich source of it. Research shows that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells in prostate cancer cells. 

Protects against neurological disorders 

Black walnuts are loaded with ellagitannins, which is a polyphenol. These polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and have free-radical-fighting properties in the body. 

Preventing obesity 

Although nuts have a high caloric content, studies show that people who eat nuts in moderate amounts have a lower rate of obesity. This may be due to the fact that nuts are fibre rich, and keep you full.

What is the nutritional breakdown of black walnuts? 

Black walnuts are more nutritious compared to the rest of the walnuts. 

They’re rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and many minerals and vitamins. The nutritional composition of black walnuts is given below

Nutritional breakdownBlack walnuts/ 1 oz
Calories 170 kCals
Protein7 grams 
Carbohydrates 3 grams
Fats 17 grams 
Fibre 2 grams 
Manganese 55% of the RDI
Copper19% of the RDI
Phosphorus 14% of the RDI
Magnesium 14% of the RDI
Zinc 6% of the RDI
Iron5% of the RDI

How can you add black walnuts to your diet? 

You can add black walnuts to your diet by putting them in your salads, appetisers, side dishes, entrees, and even desserts. You can add black walnuts to cakes or bread, and bake them. You can also add them to sauces and soups. 

Another good idea to use black walnuts is to make black walnut butter. Some people may find removing she shells of black walnuts difficult, however, shelled black walnuts are also available. It is important to remember that you choose walnuts that are minimally processed so that their nutritional profile isn’t affected.

How can you store black walnuts?

You can store black nuts for up to two years. Wash the shells of the nuts after hulling. As you know, the shells have staining properties, it is best that you do this outdoors. Examine and sort the nuts and reject any that are damaged by insects or are rotten. 

Allow the nuts to dry for about 2 to 3 weeks by laying them in a single layer, ensuring that the nuts are cured and dried. You can store unshelled nuts in cloth bags or mesh in a cool and dry place.


In this brief article, we answered the question, “Can you eat black walnuts?”. We also answered other questions related to the subjects including what is the best time to harvest black walnuts, its health benefits, how can you use black walnuts, and more.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.