Saturday, January 15, 2011

WARNING! This post contains traces of nuts

Nut are a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet – they can be added to any number of recipes  - salads, soups, soups, stews, desserts, breads and so much more. 

Did you know that nuts (and their shells) have a variety other alternate uses?  You might be surprised.

As a pest deterrent in the garden
  • The sharp edges of broken up nut shells sprinkled around your plants are a good deterrent for snails and slugs.  As an added benefit, as the shells decompose that add nutrients to the soil that benefit your plants.

As a soil conditioner
  • Bury peanuts in the soil when you’re planting.  The oils that the peanuts release when they decompose add nourishment to the soil that the plants easily absorb. 

For your potted plants
  • Instead of using rocks in the bottom of potted plants, used broken up nut shells.  Not only do they provide water drainage but they also provide nutrients to the soil.

As an effective handsoap
  • You can make an abrasive hand soap that helps to remove hard to clean dirt, sap, oil and grease.   Pulverize nut shells and the mix them in a blender with water and glycerin soap to make a grainy paste.

For furniture repair
  • Use the meat of walnuts, pecans or Brazil nuts to repair nicks and scratches in wood furniture.  Crack the nut open, then rub the meat over the scratch in the direction of the grain of the wood. Buff with a clean, soft cloth. Repeat until the area blends in with the rest of the finish as much as possible. The meat fills the scratch and the nut oil darkens the scratch and makes them invisible.

As a charcoal substitute
  • Peanuts shells are fire resistant and can absorb a good deal of heat, much like the properties of charcoal. Use peanut shells as a substitute or in addition to traditional charcoal.

To help clean your chimney
  • The oils in pistachio shells react with creosote in the chimney and will cause it to flake off.  Of course, this isn’t a substitute for having your chimney inspected and properly maintained.

For the laundry
  • Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural soap.  They work well in and are safe for use in a washing machine. The shells have a slightly sticky feel to them and an earthy smell which dissipates during the wash leaving laundry fresh and clean.  Put four or five of the husks into the small cotton bag provided with the nuts, tie it up and throw it in with your laundry load.   They are reusable - between washes, leave the nuts in their little bag and allow drying out. Once the nuts start to look darker and have lost their sap-like feel, you can add them to your compost.  You can find soap nuts at many health food stores.

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