Thursday, September 15, 2011

What About Walnuts...

I realized I forgot to mention allergies yesterday - so although I will be speaking about the nutritional benefits of nuts, please be careful if you have a nut allergy, you know what you can and cannot consume!

We'll start with walnuts today.  Walnuts are part of the tree nut family which I will talk more about in upcoming posts. This food family includes Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect your heart from plaque build up as well as help reduce blood pressure.  Walnuts may also be protective against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.  They provide nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, iron, and zinc.

1 serving (1/4 cup or 60 mL) = 166 Calories, 4 g protein, 17 g fat (of which 14 g is unsaturated), and 2 g of fibre.

  • Store shelled walnuts in an airtight container in the fridge for 6 months or the freezer for 1 year.
  • Unshelled walnuts will stay fresh for up to 3 months if kept in a cool, dry, dark place.
If you are wanting more information on walnuts and/or recipe ideas, visit California Walnuts.  I think the rice salad below sounds pretty yummy!

Brown and Wild Rice, California Walnuts And Dried Cranberry Salad

1 CUP coarsely chopped California walnuts 250 mL
2 CUPS water 500 mL
1/2 TSP salt 2 mL
1 CUP brown rice and wild rice blend 250 mL
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TSP minced orange zest 5 mL
2 TSP grainy Dijon mustard 10 mL
2 TBSP orange juice concentrate 30 mL
1/4 CUP sherry vinegar 50 mL
1/2 CUP olive oil 125 mL
1/2 TSP salt 2 mL
1/2 CUP dried cranberries 125 mL
1/2 red pepper, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced 1/2
3 green onions, thinly sliced 3
1/2 CUP snow peas, sliced 1/4 inch on the diagonal 125 mL

In dry skillet, toast walnuts over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

In medium saucepan, bring water and salt to boil. Add rice, stir well, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until rice is tender and all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

In small bowl, combine garlic, orange zest and mustard; blend well. Whisk in orange juice concentrate and vinegar. Slowly whisk in oil and salt.

Transfer cooked rice to large bowl. Add half the orange mixture and toss gently to coat well. Cool to room temperature. Add walnuts, cranberries, red pepper, green onions and snow peas just before serving. Toss. Add remaining dressing to lightly coat vegetables. Toss again and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Steph Wheler, RD

something nutrishus counselling & coaching


California Walnuts
Canadian Living, Everything you need to know about nuts, Danielle Ng-See-Quan
World's Healthiest Foods, Walnuts