Ingredient Feature

Do Walnuts Grow on Trees?

March 4, 2015


Photo credit: Bohringer Friedrich

In the US, walnuts are harvested in late August through November in California and then stored in cold storage to maintain freshness for consumption throughout the year. Walnuts are trending in the Foodstand community, and we thought you should know about these 10 random things you didn’t know about walnuts:

  1. Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date back to 10,000 BC!
  2. English walnuts (also known as Persian walnuts) originate in Central Asia and were introduced to California in the 1700s.
  3. 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts now come from California.
  4. Leave the orbitz at home. Walnuts cure bad breath. 
  5. More recently the nutritional benefits of walnuts have become well-known, especially their omega-3 fatty acid content.
  6. The Greeks called walnuts karyon, meaning “head,” because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel itself looks like a brain!
  7. Like today, a common culinary use of walnuts in the 17th-19th centuries was in salads.
  8. California has about 227,000 walnut-bearing acres, which is almost half as many wine grape acres in the state. 
  9. You can maintain the fresh taste of walnuts by keeping them cold. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. 
  10. Walnuts also share an interesting history with tree nuts, contributing to one of the most common food allergies seen in children and adults. Less than 1% of people have tree nut allergy, so if you don’t we invite you to indulge below:

Adapted from: Walnuts.orgACAAI, & Nutrilicious

Walnut Cream Sauce

Photo Credit: Framed Cooks

Pick your protein or vegetables of choice to mix into this decadent, nutty cream sauce. 

Ingredients: 2 tbsp butter; ¼ c coarsely chopped walnuts; ¼ c chopped shallots; 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage, plus extra for garnish; ¾ c white wine; ⅔ c heavy cream; ½ c grated parmesan cheese; Salt and pepper. 

MethodPrepare your pasta, protein, and/or vegetables of choice. Set aside. Begin sauce by melting butter in skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, keeping butter in pan. Add shallots and chopped sage to skillet and stir for one minute. Add wine and cream and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce on top of your desired ingredients, garnish with walnuts, sage leaves and freshly ground pepper to serve at once.

Adapted from Framed Cooks

Candied Espresso Walnuts

Photo Credit: Epicurious

Protein and bits of caffeine? This could be a win-win for coffee and health aficionados out there. The combination also makes a great entertaining cocktail munchie, workday snack, or seasonal gift. 

Ingredients: vegetable oil spray; 2/3 c sugar; 2 tbsp coffee beans (finely ground espresso); 1 tbsp instant espresso powder; 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon; 1/4 tsp kosher salt (coarse); 1 large egg white; 4 c walnut halves (about 12 oz). 

Method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk sugar and next 4 ingredients in small bowl. Whisk egg white in large bowl until frothy. Add walnuts; toss to coat. Sprinkle walnuts with espresso mixture and toss to coat. Spread coated walnuts on prepared sheet in single layer. Bake 5 minutes. Slide spatula under walnuts to loosen from baking sheet and stir, rearranging in single layer. Bake until walnuts are dry to touch, about 5 minutes longer. Loosen walnuts from sheet again; cool on sheet. Candied walnuts can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Adapted from Epicurious

Walnuts trending with Foodstanders

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