Last Updated : Feb 27,2019
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What are Walnuts, Akhrot?
Walnuts are a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavor and crunch to a meal. It is a great source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. It is no surprise that the regal and delicious walnut comes from an ornamental tree that is highly prized for its beauty. The walnut kernel consists of two bumpy lobes that look like abstract butterflies. The lobes are off white in color and covered by a thin, light brown skin. They are partially attached to each other. The kernels are enclosed in round or oblong shells that are brown in color and very hard.
Walnuts can be chopped horizontally or vertically, with a sharp knife. It can be stored in a tight jar and refrigerated. It comes handy to use whenever required.
Walnuts can be crushed partially or finely as desired. It can be done with either using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. This can be a great addition to any sweet or savoury food items.
Walnuts can be finely powdered in a grinder. This powder can be sprinkled on any sweet preparation.
Toasting nut, in the oven or in the microwave is one of the good ways to avoid addition of fat. There's nothing like the taste of freshly roasted Walnuts. While we love raw and unsalted Walnuts, especially for cooking, roasted and salted make a delightful snacking experience. The sweetness of the nut is enhanced by roasting and a light sprinkling of salt. Roasted Walnuts are widely available, both salted and unsalted, whole or in pieces.
Also called as Natural Halves - Walnuts Kernels broken evenly into 2 parts are less expensive than wholes. They are used in economy packs and also for candy bars, sweets and pastry. Splits are crisper than wholes and sometimes preferred for that reason.
How to Select Walnuts
While walnuts are harvested in December, they are available year round. When purchasing whole walnuts that have not been shelled, choose those that feel heavy for their size. Their shells should not be cracked, pierced or stained, as this is oftentimes a sign of mold development on the nutmeat, which renders it unsafe for consumption.
Shelled walnuts are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the walnuts are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing walnuts in bulk or in a packaged container, avoid those that look rubbery or shriveled. If it is possible to smell the walnuts, do so in order to ensure that they are not rancid.
· Mix crushed walnuts into plain yogurt and top with maple syrup.
· Add walnuts to healthy sautéed vegetables.
· Walnuts are great in baked goods and breakfast treats. Some of our favorites include zucchini walnut bread, carrot walnut muffins and apple walnut pancakes.
· Purée walnuts, cooked lentils and your favorite herbs and spices in a food processor. Add enough olive or flax oil so that it achieves a dip-like consistency.
· Sprinkle walnuts onto salads.
· Add walnuts to your favorite stuffing recipe.
· To roast walnuts at home, do so gently-in a 160-170°F (about 75°C) oven for 15-20 minutes-to preserve the healthy oils.
· Make homemade walnut granola: Mix together approximately 1/2 cup of honey, 3 to 4 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, a tablespoon of vanilla, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon each of your favorite spices, such as cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg. Place 6-8 cups of rolled oats in a large bowl and toss to coat with the honey-blackstrap mixture. Then spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 275°F (135°C) for 45 minutes. Cool and mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts.
· Add a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds to your morning cereal.
· Tossed on to cold cereal or mixed in with hot oatmeal, or other hot cooked cereals, these nuts add crunch, taste and, of course, walnuts and almonds nutrition.
· Make up small bags of walnuts and keep them handy to reach for as a snack.
How to Store
Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, walnuts are extremely perishable and care should be taken in their storage. Shelled walnuts should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator, where they will keep for six months, or the freezer, where they will last for one year. Unshelled walnuts should preferably be stored in the refrigerator, although as long as you keep them in a cool, dry, dark place they will stay fresh for up to six months.
Nutritional Information of Walnuts
28 grams of Walnuts.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 28 grams ( 1 ounce) of Walnuts.
4.36 grams of Protein
3.08 grams of Carbs
18.06 grams of Fat
1.0 mg of Manganese = 50% of RDA (about 2 to 5 mg)
84.5 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 24.1% of RDA (about 350 mg )
106 mg of Phosphorus : 17.7% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
27.4 mcg of Folate, Vitamin B9 = 13.7% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
0.13 mg Vitamin B1, Thiamine =13% of RDA (about 1 mg)
0.11 mg of Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 = 11.2% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
4.36 g of Protein = 7.9% of RDA ( about 55 g)
0.64 mg of Zinc = 6.4% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
0.8 mg of Vitamin E = 5.3% of RDA (about 15 mg)
28 g of Calcium = 4.6% of RDA (about 600 mg)
0.73 mg of Iron = 3.5% of RDA (about 21 mg)
123 mg of Potassium = 2.6% of RDA (about 4700 mg)
0.3 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 2.5% of RDA (about 12 mg)
13 Health Benefits of Walnuts
1. Good for Heart : Eating a handful of Walnuts a day is said to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. HDL helps remove bad fats from the blood. In general, walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios and pine nuts are a healthy snack to carry keep with you as they are rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts in particular are a rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are healthy. Perfect to eat a mix of them or try different nuts each day for your Heart .
2. Healthy Bone Structure : Walnuts are rich in Manganese and assists the body in maintaining healthy bone structure by helping in making enzymes needed to build strong bones. Walnuts are also rich in Phosphorus which helps build bones.
3. Controls Blood Pressure : Walnuts are rich in Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood sugar. So Walnuts are a Diabetic’s friend. Walnuts also contains Arginine, an essential amino acid, which is converted into nitric oxide, a chemical that helps keep the inner walls of blood vessels smooth and allows blood vessels to relax thus helping relieve hypertension issues.
4. Healthy for Diabetics : Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts and Cashews are rich in Protein and healthy monounsaturated fats which wont spike your blood sugar levels. They are a healthy snack for Diabetics and good to carry a handful with you when you are travelling.
5. Powerful Antioxidant : Walnuts are a powerful Antioxidant which fight free radicals and slow down inflammation in the body due to the eating of processed foods and external toxins.
6. Boost for Brain : Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids which contain high amounts of DHA which improve thinking power in adults and excellent for brain health for newborn kids. There is a common saying to have your walnuts to increase your brain power.
7. Makes you sleep better : Walnuts contain Melatonin, an Antioxidant which helps in making you sleep better. So pop a handful or less of walnuts before you sleep at night.
8. Pregnancy friendly : Being a good source of Folate, Vitamin B9 , its good for pregnant women to top up their folic acid with eating a bit of walnuts daily.
9. Low in Carbs : For those on a Low Carbs diet, Walnuts are the prefect answer. A handful of walnuts has only 3 grams of carbs. Also you are eating a NUT which is really healthy.
10. Good source of Protein for Vegetarians: A handful of Walnuts will give you 4 grams of Protein.
11. Makes you fitter : Walnuts are rich in Arginine, an essential amino acid which helps to relax your blood vessels and enable smooth flow of blood resulting in more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. More oxygen, more energy for Athletes to enhance performance and also for day to day activities.
12. Keeps Anaemia at bay : Walnuts are rich in Iron which increases the oxygen carrying capacity of our red blood cells. This makes sure that the billion cells in your body get oxygenated blood and prevent you from feeling tired.
13. Diabetic Friendly : As its low in the Glycemic Index, and loaded with Fibre, its a good choice for Diabetics. Fibre keeps you fuller longer.
Glycemic Index of Walnuts
Walnuts has a Glycemic Index of 14 to 20 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Walnuts have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and Diabetics.
Health Information of other Nuts:
11 health Benefits of Peanuts
9 health Benefits of Almonds
9 health Benefits of Cashew Nuts
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