Walnuts deserve a special place in your pantry.
On their own, they are a filling and healthy snack. When you add them to salads, pasta, rice, sauces, or desserts, they add substance and crunchiness.
Like many nuts, they go well in all types of dishes – savory, sweet, spicy, and anything in between.
They shine not only for being a versatile ingredient but for being a nutritional powerhouse too.
Walnuts’ brain-like shape is not coincidental. They are a beneficial brain food that can boost the nutrition of any dish you make.
Walnuts have been found to protect against neurodegenerative diseases, stimulate the production of new neurons, protect against certain types of cancers, improve the production of neurotransmitters, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Walnuts will add crunchiness and density to your meals, while helping to keep your brain healthy and sharp. Their intense flavor can be masked easily when you sautee, roast, or caramelize them.
Let’s get to know a little more about this brain-boosting ingredient
A Well Stocked Pantry – Walnuts
What are Walnuts
Walnuts originated in ancient Persia. They are the seeds of the fruits growing in walnut trees. There are 21 species of the tree, so you can find many walnut variations.
The two most popular types of walnuts are the Persian or English walnut and the Black walnut.
Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and have, by far, the best omega 3 to omega 6 ratio of all nuts.
From their total polyunsaturated fatty acid content (72%), 14% is omega 3 and 58% is omega 6.
Because it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, it helps to reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This omega 3:6 ratio also benefits your brain.
Studies have found that walnuts can reduce oxidative stress in neurons, improve signaling between neurons, and help the production of new neurons. All of these effects can prevent neurodegenerative diseases and improve cognition.
What to look for in buying Walnuts
The best way to buy walnuts is to choose the unsalted version.
The ingredient list in your pack of walnuts should read: Walnuts or walnut halves. Nothing else.
There are two types of walnuts: English walnut and Black walnut.
English walnut has a milder taste, while the black walnut has an earthier taste.
The English walnut is the one most of us eat, and probably the easiest to find at your grocery store.
You can also choose between roasted or raw walnuts.
If you want your walnuts mainly for snacking, go for the roasted version. Roasting helps to release the nutrients in the nut so it’s easier for our bodies to absorb them.
If you want your walnuts for cooking, the raw version gives you more flexibility to play with the flavors.
How to Eat Walnuts
Walnuts are a fantastic addition to quick breakfasts and lunches. They are a convenient ingredient when you’re on the go.
Roasted walnuts can be sprinkled over salads, porridges, fruits, yogurt, and toasts. You can also cook raw walnuts with sauces, cookies, muffins, chicken, or roasted veggies.
Here are some great recipes for you to try:
- Raw Brownie Bites
- Salad Jar
- Springtime Spinach Pesto
- Spinach Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Where to buy walnuts in Singapore
Looking to buy walnuts in Singapore or internationally? Check out these two great options: