Tree nuts are many including almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Did you know that in the 18th and 19th centuries, chestnuts and pecans were used as currency in some parts of the United States? There were even circumstances in which people in Appalachia paid their properly taxes with nuts. I must say, wow….! That is amazing, it sounds like trading when money was not available.
Throughout history, choosing a healthy diet has always been all about sacrifice. Foregoing the appetizers, desserts, simple carbs or saturated fat. But what IF something you really like turned out to be good for you? That is the walnut! It’s sad to say most people today don’t include walnuts in their diet. Some may say walnuts have a “bitter taste” and indeed the skin can be bitter, but toasting them brings out a richer nuttiness and makes those skins easy to rub off.
So why walnuts? Among all tree nuts – walnuts hold champion status. Because walnuts are the only nut to contain a significant amount of plant based omega-3 fatty acid storing 2500 mg in one once serving, about 1/4 cup. Many researchers conclude that diets enriched with walnuts lead to lower total and LDL (lousy) cholesterol, lower cardiovascular risk, and even help suppress some autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus1. Given that walnuts are high in plant based omega-3 fatty acid they can improve neuron function as they contain antioxidants and defend against the harmful free radicals. Studies suggest that eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet can improve cognitive function as we age and may even help reduce the risk or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders 2. Those walnuts can give our brains a boost!
Why choose walnuts from other nuts? God has given us nuts and seeds in the original diet. Diets rich in high fat foods, such as nuts, always raise the concern about potential for weight gain, but fortunately studies shown those on a high walnut diet did not gain weight. So consider adding walnuts to your salad, cereal, when making pesto, cookies, or lentil walnuts loaf etc.
Walnut Maple Cookies
2 1/2 C walnuts, ground in food processor 2/3 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt (consider use 1/2 tsp)
1/3 C flaxseed meal
1/3 C carob chips (don’t like carob? may use dark chocolate chips)
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
In a small bowl add all the ingredients in the given order. Mix well.
Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Drop dough on cookie sheet with a spoon and flatten with a fork
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown, checking often to prevent burning
Let cool before removing from the cookie sheet.
Makes one dozen.
PS: these cookies can burn easily and become hard if too dark. Use a double insulated cookie sheet for baking and bake on the middle rack of the oven.
They also have lots of plant based omega-3 fatty acid when combining walnuts and flaxseeds meal.
Courtesy: “Depression the Way Out” book by, Neil Nedley MD