The Versatile Walnut
When the question is: “Do you prefer chocolate chip cookies and brownies with or without walnuts?” My answer is always a resounding “with!” But it’s not just baked goods that walnuts make more delicious. It’s…well, almost everything! Admittedly, I “heart” walnuts. They pair incredibly well with so many healthy, whole foods adding great flavor and health benefits. This is why I was eager to participate in the Recipe Redux contest sponsored by California Walnuts.
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Walnuts “heart” You!
One quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100% of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fat alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which is associated with heart-health. Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
Walnuts may also help reduce the risk of developing prostate and breast cancer, improve reproductive health in men and support brain health. They may even help your weight loss efforts due to the increased satiety you’ll enjoy from 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in just a one ounce serving!
The health benefits of walnuts are great, but what I love most is how well they pair with some of my favorite foods. Walnuts seem to make any dish better, richer-tasting. Sugar snap peas, blueberries and avocado are all great alone, but add walnuts and you’ve suddenly elevated your dish to gourmet standards…minus all the complicated kitchen skills!
- 1.5 pounds sugar snap peas (about 5 cups of pods)
- 1.75 cups walnuts divided
- 3 green onions/scallions, sliced
- 1 cup blueberries, washed
- 1/2 medium, ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Trim and clean the sugar snap peas. Cut them diagonally, making thin slivers. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8-10 minutes or until toasted. Watch carefully. Allow to cool. Roughly chop walnuts, keeping pieces relatively large.
- In a large bowl, combine snap peas, 1 cup walnuts, green onions and blueberries. Gently combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add avocado, 1/2 cup walnuts, lemon juice, water, Dijon mustard, salt, basil and honey.
- Process until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
- Gently toss the snap pea/walnut mixture in the dressing.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts on top of each plated serving of salad.