Diane’s Dish On…Walnuts
The benefits of walnuts, which are a nutrient-dense food, were among the first approved qualified health claims by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a whole food for their positive effect on heart health. In addition to offering a range of wellness benefits, walnuts are great partners in the kitchen – they truly are the hardest working nut!
- Walnuts are the only nut — and one of the few foods — that provide an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid with 2.5 grams in a one ounce serving.
- An ounce of walnuts provides a convenient source of protein (4 grams) and fiber (2 grams).
- Walnuts are also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.
- Walnuts contain many antioxidants and are naturally sodium-, cholesterol-, and gluten-free.
- Over 20 years of research has shown how walnuts may benefit heart health, diabetes, cancer, cognition, fertility, and weight management.
- Walnuts are a great way to boost the health benefits you get from meals and snacks.
- Walnuts can add flavor, crunch, and depth to any meal.
- While they’re great for baking and sweet recipes, the mild flavor and soft texture of walnuts make them a delicious ingredient for savory dishes as well.
- Some delicious ways to use walnuts are as a topping for salad, incorporated into vegetable dishes, and as a coating for fish.
- Experiment with roasting walnuts and seasoning them with different herbs and spices.
How to Toast Walnuts
- Spread chopped walnuts — either dry or with a dash of oil — evenly onto a baking sheet or in a shallow pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Stir several times for even toasting and keep an eye on them — they burn easily.
- Cool before using.
- Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back to 7000 B.C.
- California produces 99 percent of the walnuts grown in the United States.
- The Romans called walnuts Juglans regia, “Jupiter’s royal acorn.”
- There are over 4,000 walnut growers in California and most of these farms are owned and operated by families who have been in the walnut business for over a century, across several generations.
- In early trade, English merchant marines transported walnuts to ports around the world and they became known as “English Walnuts.” (England, in fact, never grew walnuts commercially.)