Walnuts are extremely nutritious and appear to be great for both heart health and reducing your risk of diabetes. In this post we share some ideas on how to use walnuts.

Walnuts provide an excellent source of good fatty acids and vitamins. They are rich in fibre, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. In fact walnuts are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fats. Research has shown omega-3 can reduce inflammation which in turn lowers the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease. Walnuts are high in potassium and very low in sodium which has benefits for blood pressure and heart health.

Diabetic patients benefit from eating walnuts – research has shown that by including walnuts in their diet their blood cholesterol improves, insulin levels reduce and blood vessels are more relaxed. Dr Libby (see her more about her here) tells us that eating “nuts as little as two to three times a week was found to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost a quarter.” The new research out of Harvard suggests that walnuts are particularly good for this.

Did you know that walnuts can be stored frozen for up to a year? I never thought about freezing them, but after researching this post I am going to up my walnut consumption, freeze them when they are fresh and keep those I would normally keep in my pantry in my fridge.

How to use walnuts

How to use walnuts

Walnuts are very versatile because they can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes as well as baked products and pasta sauces like the one I will post next time. Some other ways to incorporate into your diet include:

  • Either sliced, or ground walnuts are good sprinkled over cereal, porridge or ice cream
  • As a paste on grilled or bbq’d food… finely chop and mix with herbs and spices
  • think afghans, and decorate baking and cookies with them
  • Instead of eating cookies, go healthy! Snack on some walnuts and reap the health benefits!
  • Make a Waldorf salad – walnuts, apples, celery, cos lettuce.
  • Walnuts can be used in cakes and muffins to add texture or even as cake decoration.
  • Make Kirsten’s favourite parsley and walnut pesto

For further information on nuts and inspiring recipe ideas check out: Linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA), or visit www.alisonspantry.co.nz and www.motherearth.co.nz.

Mummy to three small boys
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