Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Roasted Bay Nut Brownies
Category:
Food

“Among all our native edible plants, the nut of the bay laurel tree is one of the most delicious,” says Esselen Tribe medicine woman Cari Herthel. 

Historically enjoyed by California’s indigenous communities, bay nuts are typically used as a condiment, digestive aid, and stimulant. For those unfamiliar with bay nuts, they come from the California Bay Laurel, the broad-leaved evergreen hardwood tree native to the California coastal forests that are found throughout the Sierra foothills. 

“They are very giving trees and produce this really nice nut that has a slight stimulating effect and a really nice sweetness to them, '' adds Esselen Tribe member Jana Nason. “I personally like to make desserts out of bay nuts. I've made them into brownies and into a type of elixir that I'll mix with oat milk and some cacao. I'm guessing that my ancestors probably would just roast the nuts and eat them plain. I love recreating traditional recipes with my own modern spin.”

Try using bay nuts as an ingredient in brownies, cookies, ice cream, pudding, kahlua, milkshakes, and mousse. But they also make a delightful treat all on their own. “When they’re roasted, they will remind you of both chocolate and coffee, but with their own unique taste,” says Cari.


Roasted Bay Nuts (Easy!)

  1. Gather bay nuts under bay trees in the fall. Pick them up right off the ground; never from the tree. Select the ones that have not been on the ground too long. October and November are the best months. Be sure to look over each nut and discard any with visible mold.
  2. RInse and soak the nuts in a bucket of water for a few days until the outer skins soften. Remove the skins.
  3. Break the shells open with pliers to remove nuts, which will divide into two hemispheres. Note: There is an inner nut to crack within the outer hard nut shell.
  4. Put the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven at about 375°F for about 15 minutes. Check them every few minutes to make sure they don't turn black. Remove from the oven when the nuts turn brown.
  5. Your roasted bay nuts can be enjoyed as soon as they have cooled. If you wish to make bay nut flour, grind the roasted nuts with a coffee grinder or flour mill. Store in an airtight container.

Bay Nut Brownies

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup of ground roasted bay nuts
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  4. Remove from heat, let cool, and stir in your sugar and eggs.
  5. Next, beat in all your dry ingredients:  ground roasted bay nut flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
  6. When combined, pour the batter into your greased pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team & Cari Herthel

Roasted Bay Nut Brownies

About

Esalen Team & Cari Herthel

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Food

“Among all our native edible plants, the nut of the bay laurel tree is one of the most delicious,” says Esselen Tribe medicine woman Cari Herthel. 

Historically enjoyed by California’s indigenous communities, bay nuts are typically used as a condiment, digestive aid, and stimulant. For those unfamiliar with bay nuts, they come from the California Bay Laurel, the broad-leaved evergreen hardwood tree native to the California coastal forests that are found throughout the Sierra foothills. 

“They are very giving trees and produce this really nice nut that has a slight stimulating effect and a really nice sweetness to them, '' adds Esselen Tribe member Jana Nason. “I personally like to make desserts out of bay nuts. I've made them into brownies and into a type of elixir that I'll mix with oat milk and some cacao. I'm guessing that my ancestors probably would just roast the nuts and eat them plain. I love recreating traditional recipes with my own modern spin.”

Try using bay nuts as an ingredient in brownies, cookies, ice cream, pudding, kahlua, milkshakes, and mousse. But they also make a delightful treat all on their own. “When they’re roasted, they will remind you of both chocolate and coffee, but with their own unique taste,” says Cari.


Roasted Bay Nuts (Easy!)

  1. Gather bay nuts under bay trees in the fall. Pick them up right off the ground; never from the tree. Select the ones that have not been on the ground too long. October and November are the best months. Be sure to look over each nut and discard any with visible mold.
  2. RInse and soak the nuts in a bucket of water for a few days until the outer skins soften. Remove the skins.
  3. Break the shells open with pliers to remove nuts, which will divide into two hemispheres. Note: There is an inner nut to crack within the outer hard nut shell.
  4. Put the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven at about 375°F for about 15 minutes. Check them every few minutes to make sure they don't turn black. Remove from the oven when the nuts turn brown.
  5. Your roasted bay nuts can be enjoyed as soon as they have cooled. If you wish to make bay nut flour, grind the roasted nuts with a coffee grinder or flour mill. Store in an airtight container.

Bay Nut Brownies

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup of ground roasted bay nuts
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  4. Remove from heat, let cool, and stir in your sugar and eggs.
  5. Next, beat in all your dry ingredients:  ground roasted bay nut flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
  6. When combined, pour the batter into your greased pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team & Cari Herthel

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Roasted Bay Nut Brownies
Category:
Food

“Among all our native edible plants, the nut of the bay laurel tree is one of the most delicious,” says Esselen Tribe medicine woman Cari Herthel. Historically enjoyed by California’s Indigenous communities, bay nuts are typically used as a condiment, digestive aid, and stimulant.

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About

Esalen Team & Cari Herthel

Roasted Bay Nut Brownies

About

Esalen Team & Cari Herthel

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