What’s in a Walnut..

Tips and Facts about Walnuts

Walnuts are yummy tree-grown nuts, packed with essential nutrients. They are traditionally found in South American, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisine, though their popularity in Australia has increased throughout the years. Just one ounce of walnuts, eaten daily, represents a healthy addition to your diet. Here are a few reasons why you should consider incorporating walnuts into your meal plan, as well as some interesting facts about the well-known superfood.

Types of Walnut

Although considered a nut for culinary purposes, walnuts are actually the fruit of certain species of tree. There are two major species of walnut trees that are commonly grown for their seeds: English walnut from Persia and black walnut from North America. The black walnut has a more distinct flavor and a harder shell, which is more difficult to crack open. For this reason, very few black walnut trees are cultivated for commercial use.

Nutritional Benefit of Walnuts

Walnuts are very rich in nutrients. A single serving of 100 grams contains over 650 calories, in addition to high levels of manganese and vitamins B and E. The nuts also contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids including omega-3, which helps lower cholesterol levels and improves blood flow through the arteries. This, in turn, leads to improved heart health.

As a Snack

Raw walnuts are quite delicious. Just a few walnut halves, consumed daily, starts you down the road to a healthier lifestyle. They are perfectly paired with fruit slices when you’re in the mood for a hearty snack. As an ingredient in trail mix, shelled walnuts bring forth a unique taste and texture in addition to nutritional value. They’re also excellent as a salad topping, for extra crunch.

As Part of a Meal

Walnuts complement all sorts of flavors and dishes. They serve as a welcome and noticeable addition to casseroles and other chicken-based recipes. Add this nut to soups, to enhance the texture and flavor. Walnuts really shine when it comes to dessert. They are a perfect, protein-packed punch for cakes and cookies. They’re also an excellent topping for pies and tarts.

Walnut Products

A number of walnut-based food products are available, making it easy to add walnut goodness to every meal. Walnut oil, separated from the walnut by way of a press, can be used in place of other cooking oils. However, while useful for pan-frying, walnut oil typically loses flavor and nutritional value when used for high-temperature cooking.

Once the oil has been extracted, whatís left of the walnut can be ground into walnut flour. Using walnut flour, rather than wheat flour, adds texture and flavor to bread or cakes. Like almonds, walnuts can also be made into milk as an alternative to lactose.

Walnuts are a nutrient-packed superfood that tastes great. They are an antioxidant, promote heart health, and are rich in many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Whether as part of the main course or a light snack, adding walnuts to your diet will lead to prolonged health benefits.