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Wise Up with Walnuts

By Alana Sugar, September 27, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
When it comes to nuts, it's hard to beat their delicious taste and great health benefits. Enjoying a handful regularly offers great benefits, including heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, minerals, fiber and plenty of other good stuff. But did you know that there is one nut that has more brain-enhancing essential Omega 3's than other nuts? Not only that, it actually looks brain-like! If you guessed walnuts, you're right. Walnuts have been used as food since at least 7,000 BCE. There are a variety of species but we're most familiar with the English and Black Walnut varieties. Both are highly valued for their omega-3 fatty acids - 2.6 grams per ounce for English walnuts and 0.56 grams for the Black walnut variety. These awesome omega 3s, when properly balanced with omega 6's, offer many health benefits. That's why, when it comes to walnuts, I wise-up! When you eat walnuts, you'll wise up, too. In addition to their great flavor, crunch and texture, walnuts have fiber, antioxidants and important minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and copper. Eating walnuts promotes healthy heart, skin, nervous and immune systems, healthy cholesterol levels and they fall low on the glycemic index, which means they help keep blood sugar levels healthy. Now remember, though, that walnuts are still high in calories! They are so nutrient-dense that you don't need the whole bag. Opt for a small handful - about two to six tablespoons, which is about ½ to 1½ ounces daily. If you have trouble stopping at that limit, here's an idea: Place ¼ cup walnuts in several small snack bags and freeze. Take one out each day. Take them to work, to school or leave out for a snack. Here are some fun ways to wise-up with walnuts: To keep shelled walnuts fresh, tightly seal and store in the freezer for up to a year, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Remember, once shelled, they easily pick up the "aromas"...aka odors…of other foods, so be sure to seal them tightly. Fresh, unshelled walnuts can be stored in a cool, dry location for several months. Got a way to wise up with walnuts? What's your favorite recipe? I'd love to know!




Evan says ...
I love using walnuts in meatloaves and meatball recipes like this one to replace the bread crumbs as a binder. I can't eat wheat, so these are perfect to replace them and add a toasty flavor plus healthy fats. http://foodmakesfunfuel.com/recipes/dinners-and-sides/vegan-meatloaf
09/27/2010 8:27:14 AM CDT
Walnut Lovers says ...
This is a great post, so much good information. Thank you for posting. We love walnuts, and walnut lovers, and people who love walnut lovers. We celebrate the walnut on Twitter and everywhere else online. Check out our site, we have #MealMonday's, a meal every hour with walnuts and #WalnutWednesday's, THE day to show the walnut love online. Chocolate walnut fudge brownies are a small but serious addiction of mine!
09/27/2010 11:33:54 AM CDT
Joe @ Eden Kitchen says ...
Walnuts are definitely my favourite nut, I absolutely love making a pesto with them! Here is my recipe for pasta with a walnut and cavalo nero pesto: http://edenkitchen.com/spelt-pasta-with-cavalo-nero-walnut-pesto/
09/27/2010 6:11:08 PM CDT
Lynne Ditsch says ...
I use walnuts instead of pine nuts in my homemade pesto sauce--delicous and more nutrious. I grow my basil plants beneath my bedroom window so that in fair weather I can take in their spicey aroma with the breeze. Transplant a Daddy Long Legs spider (I am not kidding!) to each plant--they eat bad bugs that harm basil plants (learned this by accident). Enjoy!
09/30/2010 6:05:55 AM CDT
Nathalie says ...
Thank you Whole Foods Market for sharing these great ideas on how to include walnuts in our diet. I love all nuts, but walnuts are indeed my favourite. I bake my own walnut and turmeric bread regularly. Walnuts and cheese is such a great combination, whether in a salad or indeed a warm dish like spinach, walnut and goats' cheese pasta bake.
09/30/2010 10:08:30 AM CDT
Zom G. says ...
We made these Roasted Walnut balls last night and everyone was impressed! http://www.thethreecheeses.com/2010/roasted-walnut-balls/ They were toddler, veggisaurus, and omnivore approved, which is amazing in this house! We added fresh sage, nixed the white sauce for a fresh tomato one, and tossed a leftover wedge of cacio di roma in the processor instead of cheddar. I'm thinking of calling ours Walnut Polpette...
09/30/2010 2:43:16 PM CDT
jane says ...
where can i find black walnuts in a grocery store?
01/14/2014 6:27:59 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JANE - Our selections can vary between store locations. Check with your local store directly to see if this is something they typically have in stock.
01/15/2014 12:04:39 PM CST