Hazelnuts and Homecomings

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Fall is the busiest time on the hazelnut farmer’s calendar. Harvest begins in mid-September and runs through October, and growers will spend nearly every waking hour in the orchards harvesting thousands of pounds of hazelnuts. Processing facilities will run around the clock for several months drying, sorting, preparing and packing nuts for consumers.

Harvest numbers for the Oregon hazelnut industry were projected to be around 49,000 tons this year and early returns from growers in the field echo those yields.

With such busy fall schedules, free time is hard to come by. When they can find it, Oregon’s hazelnut growers spend their autumn leisure time the same way as millions of other Americans: watching football. To celebrate football season and the bounty of hazelnut harvest, we’ve selected a few recipes that anyone can make for an upcoming tailgate or watch party.

Parmesan Hazelnut Beer Bread

A simple homemade bread recipe isn’t enough for a football tailgate. We went to the next level with our Parmesan Hazelnut Beer Bread. It starts as a traditional beer bread recipe, but we amplify it with chopped hazelnuts, grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chives. Try this recipe with whatever lager or pilsner you can find at the grocery store, we recommend Breakside Brewery’s Pilsner.

Sweet and Spicy Hazelnut Snack Mix

Tailgates are all about finger food; those quick and easy snacks you can grab and eat on-the-go. For this sweet and spicy snack mix, we added fresh hazelnuts, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of habanero salt to a classic mix of pretzels and Chex. Pair with your favorite tailgate beverage such as an ice-cold beer or soda.

Blueberry Hazelnut Breakfast Cookies

What’s a tailgate without a dessert smorgasbord? For those tailgates that begin before the sun rises, we’ve got a cookie that doubles as breakfast. These Blueberry Hazelnut Breakfast Cookies include hazelnuts, blueberries, bananas, egg and rolled oats. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon and you’ve got the most delicious game day breakfast.