Hazel is often passed by without a glance. At times, the Hazel leaf may look very similar to Beech. Hazel, however, produces a very nutritious nut. A free, hedgerow plant worth gathering to add to your larder. It may be dried, cracked open and eaten raw; added to cakes, cereals; slow roasted at the bottom of an oven to create a richer and crunchier nut. Some areas may be more inclined to find Filberts or Cob nuts – these are similar in flavour to Hazelnuts but look more like acorns as instead of being more of a small fat round nut, Filberts are elongated. Both, are packed full of goodness and are natures offering of a natural vitamin and mineral pill …
Hazel and Filbert nuts contain quite a few minerals but have quite fair amounts of selenium, zinc and manganese as well as calcium and potassium. They contain the following vitamins: A, B5, B6, B9 which is often called folic acid, and E. The nut is also known for its fair amounts of both Linoleic acid and Oleic acid contents. Added to all of the above it is packed full of protein.
Whilst on a walk the other day I happened to notice some green, open and cast-off shells on the floor which turned out to be Hazelnuts from the hedgerow. I’m not sure whether they had been cracked open by squirrels or birds but thought I would pick some too. Usually I wait until they are brown on the plant but temptation is a torment and Hazelnuts are delicious so I began to pick those on the lower branches and was quite surprised to find that I had a pudding basin full on returning home. I will leave these to dry out and go brown before eating them.
Hazelnuts (often found in groups of three)
- Commitment to a job is nine parts of completion.