Healthy Living on September 23, 2009 by

Golden Spurtle: Oregon Hazelnuts and a Giveaway!

Nancy and Polly were so helpful and happily toured me around the farm.

Nancy and Polly were so helpful and happily toured me around the farm.

Part of the Golden Spurtle competition is plating your gastronomic creation. Not only does your oatmeal concoction need to taste amazing, it needs to look beautiful too. As part of our plating, we wanted to highlight the beauty in all of our Oregon ingredients- deep green pears, rich red cherries and fresh hazelnuts.

This is a hazelnut in the husk- a perfect addition to our presentation.

Hazelnut in the husk still on the tree.

Oregon provides 99% of all hazelnuts grown in the United States. Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Rich and Nancy Birkemeier at their hazelnut farm, Birkemeier Farms, in Canby, Oregon. I was on the hunt for the beautiful hazelnut husks to use as part of our plate presentation and was rewarded with a bounty of green, husk covered hazelnuts. Upon arrival, I received a warm welcome from Nancy. Polly, from the Oregon Hazelnut Marketing Board, who had so kindly set up my visit, met me at the farm and together they explained all about hazelnut farming in Oregon.

Hazelnuts being harvested.

Hazelnuts being harvested.

I was very lucky to visit during harvest season and was witness to the hustle and bustle that takes place for six weeks of the year.  The beauty of the farm- rolling hills of tree upon tree- was breathtaking. The ground had a golden sheen from the thousands of freshly fallen hazelnuts, no doubt representative of their immense worth to these people. I learned all about how hazelnuts are grown, harvested and the challenges the farmers face each year.

Thanks again to Rick, Nancy and Polly for giving me the grand tour yesterday!


Hazelnuts are delicious on their own, but they can also be used to turn an average dessert into something truly decadent and a savory meal into something out of this world. This week, we’re giving away our second spurtle set. To enter- simply post a link to your favorite or any delicious sounding hazelnut recipe in the comment field. On Friday, we will randomly select a winner from all who post.


alix says:

This recipe has been on my to-make list for a while: but I’m planning on using instead of jarred Nutella. Both recipes appear to be gluten free without modification as well.

Congrats Alix! You were selected as our winner for the second Spurtle set! Please send me your shipping address and phone number to claim your prize: Looks like you may need gluten free- do you want to try our gluten free steel cut oats?

Adam says:

Almost like a slaw, but a dang tasty salad – the hazelnuts give it just the right bit of earthy!

Also, once I finally figure out the secret to good GFree crepes, going to treat my wife to:

Jenni says:

um.. YUM!!! thanks for the prompt to share a link to a yummy looking recipe I found on smitten kitchen…

not only does this blog post chock full of photos and witty comment make your mouth water… (she is good at that) but the cake recipe looks totally doable. As a vegan, I’ll substitute some of Bob’s yummy flax meal & water for the eggs, and will use vegan margarine for the cake, and make a simple vegan tofu & melted chocolate chips mousse for the frosting. sounds like heaven!

Penny says:

Here’s a favorite recipe I’ve made before using hazelnuts:

Melody says:

Of course, instead of all purpose flour, I use some Bob’s Red Mill Baking Mix mixed with white rice flour. Soooooo tasty. You can also use smoked provolone instead of gorgonzola for a different, yet equally as delicious flavor.


Traci says:

Love hazelnuts!

One of our favorite breakfasts is to add one grated ripe pear, ground cinnamon, and finely chopped hazelnuts to pancake or waffle batter. Quick & easy, but oh so tasty! I guess I need to make this again now that Autumn is here ~ unfortunately I haven’t blogged this meal before, so no link as yet.

Kristine says:

“Vegan Banana and Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookie Dough Brownies”

Oh yes….they really are that good that they require so many words in the name!

Here are a few modifications to make it a bit healthier:

possible substitutes/modifications:
use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil
use solid coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening
to make it gluten free – use a flour substitute
can also use unsweetened almond milk instead of soy milk
use turbinado raw sugar instead of white granulated sugar
use Stevia instead of sugar

alix says:

Oh, that’s so exciting! Yep, I’m gluten free, so if you could send gluten free for the oats, that would be extra awesome. Thanks so much!

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