After peanuts, walnuts are the next popular nut in our home. I used these liberally in the Spinach Toast I made recently and no-one complained. I toss them in salads. We munch on them just because. And, Medha takes walnuts and apples for snack at least once a week.
Her school finally started giving these poor kids a break for snack. Back in Chicagoland, they had snack in the afternoon as they had lunch rather early. When we moved to Louisville, it took Medha some time to settle down because there was no snack time and they were always rushed at lunch. Either they got there late, or the next class came into their teeny cafeteria earlier than expected. Even though they are allowed to stay and finish their lunch, no-one wants to eat lunch with kids from a higher grade or a lower grade. She lost a lot of weight initially because she just didn't eat enough. She came home starving but since she found that she could play outdoors even in December, she wanted to be out there with the rest of the kids. Eventually, I just had to pull rank and force her to eat.
Want to go play? Eat this. Don't want it? Don't like it? Well, you don't have to go out and play either.
I was done cajoling and explaining it to her, using Love and Logic. Needless to say, I wasn't very popular at the time and I sounded just like this.
Apparently, the school thinks that 4th graders need more nutrition so they have to bring in a snack. And there are rules: no yogurt or Gogurt tubes or fruit cups as they have a tendency to fly and land on the carpet, no cookies, and no sandwiches. Cheese and crackers, all types of nuts, and fresh fruit are welcome. So walnuts make a regular appearance on the snack menu.
And, a good choice it is. Did you know that you don't have to eat fish to get your weekly dose of Omega-3 fatty acids? It's right there in walnuts. A quarter cup of walnuts provides up to 90% of the daily recommended value for these essential fats. Walnuts also boost the immune system because they contain an anti-oxidant called ellagic acid. They are also known to have health benefits that range from keeping your heart healthy to improving cognitive function! My Dad used to joke that they are shaped like our brain for a reason!
My walnuts are California grown, unlike those devoured by some bloggers. I can only imagine what a treat it is like to chomp down some of these beauties!
Like pepitas, they are high in unsaturated fats and go rancid quickly if they are shelled and stored at room temperature. I store my walnuts in the refrigerator where they last for about 6 months or so. They last even longer when stored in the freezer. But I don't like my nuts that cold!