IFR Nutology: Walnuts

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!

20 comments:

Anita said...

I love walnuts. But we don't snack on them enough - pistas are our chosen sin.

But they make a great snack when candied - have you ever had those? Mum used to make that - even the bits of sugar that remain in the pan afterwards get walnut flavoured - yum. Not as healthy - but a little sugar is okay?

Manisha said...

Yup! But I prefer plain toasted walnuts. Light toasting really brings out the flavors!

Candied almonds - they are deep fried - do the rounds during the Christmas season in our neighborhood. Absolutely sinful!

Anita said...

And that Mom song is hilarious - I think all mothers sound like that!

Raaga said...

hmmm... and they are frightfully expensive here... 1/4 cup a day must be great... if only!!

Manisha said...

It is even cheaper in Sam's where I buy a 3lb packet for about $11. It's more expensive in grocery stores.

So even though we don't get the true gold from Kashmir or Iran, we're still lucky?!

musical said...

Love walnuts! Toasted walnuts are yummy! I think we are choosing common ingedients these days-i made a paech chutney with walnuts ;). Oh, and the fun of having walnuts in winters! I mean the ones with shell.

And Anita, how can you not mention the Shivratri parasad akhrot:the soaked ones! They are bliss!

musical said...

And you are still awake ;).

Manisha said...

Musical, must be the improved cognitive function!

I used to love walnuts with their shell on. We would throw them against the wall to break them. When there are walls, who needs a nutcracker!

And, yes, I am awake. Must be because you are, too. You're only an hour behind MT, dear! I'm working. What is your reason?
;-)

musical said...

My reason: reading IFR nutology :-D.

Good night, dear :).

Manisha said...

Nutty dreams to you, my friend!

Padmaja said...

walnuts yes manisha!!
you should see my work desk, full of all these dry fruits n i tend to over eat!!!
your photos looks pretty

Pelicano said...

Walnuts taste good.

lakshmi said...

love love love snacking on nuts - especially peanuts and walnuts :). i agree with you - toasting brings out the flavours.

Red Chillies said...

Walnuts and almonds are favorite here. Good analogy about wlanut looking like our brain. The best that I could derive was a butterfly :-)
Also if I store it in the fridge, dosen't it loose its nutty taste?

Srivalli said...

Manisha,

You have been tagged. Check out this post. Play along if you like.

http://cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com/2007/10/tale-of-two-memes-and-guess.html

now this is the fifth time I am trying the word verification!!!..its all kg now

Siri said...

Love the walnuts manisha...
and the mom is hilarious and creative.. just love it..:)

sunita said...

We're all great fans of walnuts...especially hubby dear...he's absolutely nuts about 'nuts':)

Nabeela said...

muffins without walnuts is something I don't even consider muffins....so yeah, we're all walnut lovers here too :)

Roopa said...

hmm thats a great info Manisha but unfortunately walnut never became a favorite at my home unless i powder and mix it with cakes or cookies.
i know how its really its the same case with my daughter too.

Manisha said...

Red Chillies, nope! No loss in flavor! Bringing them to room temperature especially if you are going to be baking with them is a good idea. Toasting small quantities to be consumed in a day or two also helps enhance the flavor. Refrigeration - and it should be in an airtight container - help prevent the fats from turning rancid. Welcome to IFR!