Happy Superfoods Week! In celebration, we’re sharing our favorite superfoods. Our odes to these yummy eats and drinks will hopefully encourage you to try some new uber healthy one (or ignite a deeper love of your fave superfoods)!
I’m all about the nuts, y’all — walnuts, especially. It always befuddles me why people don’t eat more walnuts; after all, they are the quintessential superfood – chock full of protein, good fats, fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. A recently released longitudinal study found that those who ate walnuts more than three times a week had a 45 percent lower mortality risk, 55 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and 40 percent reduction in cancer. They lower blood cholesterol levels, improve blood flow, and reduce inflammation.
Plus, they’re tasty.
Since I’m a vegetarian, nuts make up a big part of my diet, both for the protein punch and the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, which most omnivories get from seafood like salmon. But unlike salmon, I can find a way to incorporate walnuts into almost everything: topping my oatmeal in the morning, incorporated into a pesto on my spaghetti squash, mashed in with sweet potatoes, or adding a little bit of crunch to my salad. Even dessert gets some walnut love, with little bits of walnuts appearing in cookies, apple crumble and on top of ice cream.
But my favorite way to eat walnuts is straight from the bag — a small handful serves as a great pick-me-up when my energy reserves are getting low. If I’m feeling spry, I might make a batch of maple walnuts to nosh on throughout the week. It’s a simple recipe, and the flavors are perfect for fall:
Snack-Attack Maple Walnuts Recipe
2 cups walnut halves
¼ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
1. Preheat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Cook, tossing/stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted (about three minutes).
2. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container for storage.
It’s possible I’m a little walnut-obsessed … but that’s a good thing, right?
Are you nuts for walnuts, too? What’s your favorite way to nosh on these tasty treats? —Susan