Hy-Vee at Midday: Nuts for Walnuts!

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dieitian

Wonderful Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts are the "Original Health Nut"? They are the oldest tree food known to man! Walnuts remain a favorite addition to salads, side dishes and baked goods. Today, your Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian will highlight the health benefits of walnuts, and show you three interesting and delicious recipes featuring this versatile nut.

Walnut Wisdom
• One serving of walnuts is one ounce, which equals 12 to 14 walnut halves.
• Walnuts are a good source of heart-healthy fat. In fact, walnuts are the only nut with a significant amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.
• Walnuts are high in antioxidants which may be helpful in decreasing inflammation in the body.
• Walnuts make an ideal snack. Their combination of healthy fat, protein and fiber make them a great choice to curb hunger. Just be sure to keep track of portion size!

Go Nuts!
• Try walnuts in a trail mix mixed with dried fruit.
• Top some greens with fruit and walnuts and dress with a light vinaigrette.
• Add walnuts to side dishes like pilafs or grain medleys.
• Boost your breakfast by sprinkling some walnuts in your oatmeal, or yogurt parfait.


Parmesan Herb Walnuts (Serves 8)
all you need:
1 egg white
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. garlic salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup Hy-Vee grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups Hy-Vee walnut halves
all you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large, shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix egg white, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and cayenne.
3. Add walnuts and Parmesan cheese and toss until they are evenly coated. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 16-18 minutes or until the walnuts look dry and toasted. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Per serving: calories 220; 21 g fat; 176 mg sodium; total carbohydrate 4 g; dietary fiber 2 g; protein 7 g.
Adapted from: www.californiawalnuts.org

Fruity California Walnut Salad (serves 12)
all you need:
3 crisp apples, cored and chopped
2 cups fresh or canned pineapple, chopped
1 cup Hy-Vee light vanilla yogurt
1 cup Hy-Vee raisins
¾ cup Hy-Vee walnut halves
all you do:
1. Place chopped apples in a large bowl.
2. Add pineapple, yogurt, raisins and walnuts. Toss until ingredients are evenly combined and coated with yogurt. Cover and chill until serving.
Per serving: calories 250; total fat 6 g; sodium 34 mg; total carbohydrate 48 g; dietary fiber 6g; protein4.5 g
Adapted from: www.californiawalnuts.org

Walnut Pesto (serves 4)
all you need:
3 packed cups fresh basil leaves
3 large cloves garlic
1/3 cup lightly toasted Hy-Vee walnut halves
1/3 cup Hy-Vee Grand Selections extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: additional extra virgin olive oil (for storage)
all you do:
1. Place basil leaves and garlic in a food processor or blender and mix well. Add walnuts, and continue to blend until finely ground.
2. Keep the machine running while drizzling in the olive oil. When a smooth paste forms, transfer to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. To store, place pesto in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Smooth out the top surface of the pesto and pour on enough additional extra virgin olive oil to cover it completely. Store in the refrigerator.
4. Serving suggestion: toss pesto with whole grain pasta, use as a sandwich spread or dip for fresh veggies.
Per serving: calories 263; total fat 27 g; sodium 104 mg; total carbohydrate 3 g; dietary fiber 1 g; protein 5 g.
Adapted from: www.californiawalnuts.org
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