Wild about walnuts

walnuts

High in protein and “good” monounsaturated fat, walnuts add a satisfying crunch to meals and snacks. Fans of walnuts likely enjoy their rich flavor, but did you know that walnuts also offer valuable health benefits?

pesto

Walnuts in pesto substitute for pricier pine nuts.

Walnuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, unlike other nuts, they also contain a healthy dose of an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and may also lower the risk of heart attack.

I actually have a walnut tree in my front yard which produces a great crop each year.  But getting the tough outer covering off them is next to impossible.  The only way I can get into to them is to run over them with the car!

How to enjoy them: Chopped walnuts make a great addition to salads, dips, and whole-grain breads. Whole walnuts are a satisfying and tasty snack. But don’t over-do them. You can eat 15 of them daily — eating more may undermine weight-loss efforts, but so much more fun than taking a horse pill.

I’ve begun using them in my pesto sauces in place or their pricier cousin pine nuts.  I think I like it better with walnuts, lightly toasted.

Storage: Walnuts are perishable and will spoil over time — particularly if they’re exposed to heat, humidity, and light. To prevent nuts from spoiling, keep them in a cool, dry place. Personally I keep mine in the freezer and they thaw in a jiffy.

2 thoughts on “Wild about walnuts

  1. At the macadamia nut grove and packing facility in Hilo, Hawaii, there are pictures of the early days showing the nuts being run over by cars to crack them! To be more efficient, you really should put several of your black walnut shells down/ cover with a piece of tin or old plywood that you have lying around, and then drive over them. Do you wear gloves to handle the shells, or just get black fingers? We had a walnut tree in our yard when I was growing up in Weir; after the shells dried, we cracked the inner shell with a hammer. No wonder walnuts are so expensive!

  2. Yes I have black fingers – I even stained an old telephone stand with a cut walnut shell once. I’ll try the plywood idea – good one.

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