WYP DIY: Bay Nut Truffle Recipe
Deep gratitude to the beautiful wise Bay Laurel trees, all of the forces of sun, soil, and rain that nurture them, and the many indigenous peoples who tend/tended those groves and carry knowledge of how to use the food and medicine of the trees.
Bay Nut Truffle Recipe Ingredients:
~ 1.5 cup of roasted shelled bay nuts
~ 1/2 cup honey
~ 1/2 cup coconut oil
~ a pinch of sea salt
~ any additional flavors you'd like (a bit of cardamom, vanilla, and/or rose is nice)
- Befriend a bay tree/grove. Get to know each other. Visit them in multiple seasons.
- In the late to early winter, with permission, collectbay nuts. They look just like small avocados (they're related!) and normally fall to the ground when they're ready. Give thanks.
- Promptly remove flesh from the nuts (to prevent rot; an awesome step to have kiddos help with), rinse the seeds, and dry them in a wellventilated area for at least two weeks (this step is super important to prevent mold!). Dry, unroasted bay nuts will keep for months, even years. After they are thoroughly dried, you can keep them in a lidded container until ready to roast. Once you roast them, the volatile oils that preserve the nuts are gone, so they should be used within several weeks.
- Roast in the oven, either at 450 for 30-45 min or 350 for 60-90 min. I prefer the low and slow method since it's easier not to burn them. The trick is to cook them enough to have no bitter volatile oil taste but not burn them. You can crack one nut open and put it on the baking sheet next to the nuts still in their shells to get a sense of how roasted they're getting.
- Remove shells by cracking (another great step to have kiddo help!). While cracking, I also remove the thin skin between the two bay nut halves, though I'm not sure if this is necessary. At this point, you have roasted bay nuts that you can use for many things -- eat them on their own, grind them and use them like coffee for a warm drink, chop them and add to deserts, or follow next steps for truffles.
- Grind the bay nuts with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor/blender until they are pretty fine and perhaps start to get oily (you'll likely have to pause the blender often and scrape them off the sides at that point to prevent sticking or overheating).
- Melt the coconut oil and honey together and add liquid warm honey/oil mix plus salt and any other flavors to the bay nut mix. Blend it all together well.
- Pour a layer onto parchment paper or another smooth surface and place in the fridge until the mix is solidified, then cut into small pieces. Alternatively you can roll the mix into small balls, which are fun but more work. Be cautious about making the pieces/balls too big, as they can be quite stimulating for some people. I store the truffles in the fridge and they seem to keep well for a couple weeks. At room temp they melt easily, similar to Honey Mama's Chocolate.
Happy foraging! If you have any special bay tree stories or personal bay nut recipes, I'd love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Written by and shared by Kelsie Pombo, WYP Program Staff.