When growing a food forest there are many unique plants to pick from. One of the less popular plants is the Pachira Aquatica. Its common names are the Florida nut tree or the money tree plant but they can also be referred to as Malabar Chestnuts. It is a popular bonsai but when it isn’t pruned it can grow more like a tree in height. The plant produces large green fruits that ripen and fall to the ground. When they land, they break open and expose large nuts on the inside. These nuts can be seasoned and cooked to be eaten as a salad topping or just a tasty snack. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. Great for beginners!
-Whatever spices you desire. I used adobo but if you want something spicier or smokier you can use virtually any seasoning.
-Amount of nuts you want to eat. I just cooked a serving size because I was only looking to have a nice afternoon snack.
-Vegetable oil to grease pan
Once the tree’s fruit have ripened and fallen to the ground they will crack open on their own from impact. You can then pick the brown nuts out of the fruit easily. After you have gathered your desired amount-however many you wish to eat/serve- then you will put the brown seeds in a bowl of water to soak for the night. This process of soaking will soften the brown leathery shell so in the morning you will be able to peel it off to remove the inner white nut. You can use a knife to pierce the brown layer but be careful not to puncture the white inner layer. Your fingers can work just as well if you soak the nuts long enough.
After the shells are all peeled off it is time to season and cook. Put the white nuts in a bowl and toss them in a layer of vegetable oil thick enough to coat all of them. Then add your desired seasoning as well. I added a thick layer of adobo seasoning to give my snack a salty garlic taste, however, any seasoning will work. After you add the seasoning, heat your stovetop to medium. Fry them in a pan for about ten minutes or until you see the nut turn a golden brown shade. Place your nuts on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil and let cool. After the nuts are cool you can add them to a salad or simply eat them as a snack.
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