It’s been reported that walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back all the way to 7000 B.C. Eaten by royals in ancient Persia and traded on the Silk Road, walnuts were soon popping up all over the world (their shell providing ample protection and making them hearty travelers). Today, California is known as one of the highest-quality producers of the modern walnut.
The Health Benefits Of Walnuts
Most nuts contain healthy Omega-3s, and walnuts are no exception. But what walnuts have that most other nuts don’t are the polyunsaturated fatty acids n-6 (linoleate) and n-3 (linolenate), which have been studied for their ability to help with everything from brain health to metabolism.
In addition to being a heart-healthy food and one that also helps lower bad cholesterol, walnuts are a great, natural weight loss tool. A handful of walnuts, eaten before meals, has been shown to increase satiation and inhibit overeating, as well as keep the metabolism trucking.
The high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts isn’t just fantastic for lowering inflammation, it’s also been connected to brain health. In fact, a 2014 study shows how daily consumption of walnuts made “a significant improvement in memory, learning ability, anxiety, and motor development” in mice.
Thanks to specialized antioxidants, walnuts have been signaled out as cancer fighters, specifically against breast cancer and prostate cancer.
In addition to all these health benefits, a handful of walnuts provides a healthy serving of manganese, copper, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as fiber and protein.
The Taste Of Walnuts
A delicate nut with a slightly bitter flavor (at least compared to other nuts), walnuts take on a decidedly “fall flavor” when blanched, roasted or caramelized.
Where To Buy Walnuts
Walnuts can be purchased in almost every major grocery store. Just make sure to freeze de-shelled walnuts if you’re not planning on eating them in the very near future.
Smoothie Recipes With Walnuts
Walnuts are a great way to turn a green smoothie into a healthy, nutritious meal replacement — which is why we use them in many of our recipes! Here are some of our favorite smoothies with walnuts.
Intoxicating Apple Walnut
Like most nuts, walnuts provide a nice serving of Omega-3s, and have been connected to healthy cholesterol levels. Walnuts also provide a dose of rare antioxidants that have been studied as helpful cancer fighters. Flaxseed is another amazing superfood that’s been shown to help fight back against cancer thanks to specialized antioxidants called lignans. Add in a bunch of vitamin C and extra fiber from an orange, apple, and collard greens, and you have a simple, delicious breakfast that will make your new healthy routine a snap!
Persimmon Apple Tea
Thanks to matcha (which is a powdered green tea), this smoothie provides a little boost of energy without any jitters. Add in some soothing mint and the delicate sweetness of a persimmon and apple, and you’ve got the perfect combination for feeling focused and calm. Collards are included to add in some vitamin A and iron, and pecans bring a dose of vitamin E, calcium and magnesium.
If you’re looking for the perfect snack to strengthen your immune system, this anti-inflammatory powerhouse is it. Both cranberries (vitamin C and fiber) and ginger are known anti-inflammatories, and spinach is full of vitamins A, C and K. Walnuts provide the healthy fats our metabolism craves, and dates are full of natural sugar, providing ample, sustained energy. Take the flavors of the holidays to the next level with this fresh, sweet drink.
Cinnamon Apple Carrot Cake
In addition to being high in fiber and antioxidants, carrots are full of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are both incredibly helpful for skin. Walnuts are also great for a dewy complexion, thanks to their high vitamin E content (not to mention their healthy fats). A banana, full of magnesium and potassium, rounds out this naturally sweet apple pie / carrot cake smoothie combination, making it the perfect drink for a busy morning, post workout, or whenever you feel like your complexion could use a little extra love.
Maple Cranberry Tart
Lucuma is a Peruvian superfruit that has a luscious caramel taste, as well as iron, zinc and calcium. The vitamin C in this smoothie comes from cranberries (which also provide fiber and vitamin E, but very low amounts of sugar). Studies have recently linked daily consumption of apples to increased cognitive health, and they provide fiber and vitamin C as well. Top this sweet treat off with some maple syrup (which has iron, zinc and manganese), and you have a great way to curb cravings any time of day.
White Maple Walnut
Maple syrup is a great natural sweetener, and it also contains zinc and inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Zinc boosts immune function, which makes it a great acne fighter. Walnuts are full of Omega-3s, powerful fatty acids that reduce inflammation and help make skin appear more supple. Add in some yellow squash (additional fatty acids and zinc, as well as vitamin A and magnesium), a white peach (zinc and calcium) and a pear (fiber and antioxidants), and you get a light, refreshing drink that will help you glow from the inside out.
Known by some as the “queen of fruits,” mangosteen is a Southeast Asian fruit that has a ton of vitamin C, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also been shown in a few scientific studies to have cancer-fighting abilities. With additional vitamin C from sweet clementines, cantaloupe and goji berries, and nourishing vitamin E and Omega-3 from walnuts, this smoothie is a great refresher for your skin. It may be cold outside, but your complexion will have a warm glow after drinking this snack!
Purple Kumquat Cantaloupe
Native to Asia, kumquats are small citrus fruits full of fiber, potassium, calcium, and of course, lots of vitamin C. Because they have no pith, you can actually eat them (or throw them into your blender) peel and all. Maqui berries are bursting with antioxidants, walnuts are full of healthy fats and vitamin E, and cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin A. In addition to being a super immune booster, this smoothie is high in fiber, which means you’ll feel energized and satisfied for hours.
Low in calories but high in vitamin C, zucchini is a great smoothie filler because it amps up the nutrients without amping up the sugar or fat. A hearty green, lacinato kale provides ample amounts of vitamins A, K and iron, and when combined with cinnamon, works to lower inflammation. If you want your skin to look as fresh as a spring morning, this smoothie will help make that happen, especially because of its hefty serving of vitamin E, courtesy of walnuts.
Almond Banana Bread
Out of all the foods, herbs and spices across the world, cinnamon ranks 7th in the amount of antioxidants for per serving, making it a powerful superfood for lowering inflammation and fighting off chronic issues. Walnuts have potent antioxidant power too, as well as essential Omega-3 fatty acids. Oats and bananas amp up the fiber in this smoothie, making it the perfect meal or snack for staying full for hours, and spinach rounds everything out with copious amounts of vitamins A, K, C iron and calcium. Treat your body, mind and complexion to a little TLC with this drink!
Lemon Peach Rhubarb
Rhubarb and peach are traditional summer pie ingredients, so we decided to combine them into a bright, healthy smoothie. Both rhubarb and apple are high in fiber, ginger is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, peaches are bursting with complexion-loving vitamin A, swiss chard has a nice serving of both vitamin K and magnesium, and walnuts around everything out with healthy Omega-3s and vitamin E. Get your summer barbecue dessert fix with this low calorie smoothie, skin-beautifying snack!
Spiced Cinnamon Apple
A little taste of Fall, this high fiber smoothie should restore any slight digestion issues! Apples contain a lot of fiber per serving (about 4g in a medium-sized fruit), as do carrots. Additionally, carrots are bursting with beta-carotene and biotin, making them a great food for your skin. Full of vitamin E and Omega-3s, walnuts are also fantastic for keeping skin supple and healthy. Blend in some cinnamon, which is a great anti-inflammatory, and you’ve got a satisfying smoothie that can help fight wrinkles, fatigue and inflammation!
Blueberry Walnut Cobbler
One of the best ways to keep you body free from the pain of stress is to focus on fighting inflammation, and this smoothie is perfect for that! Full of fiber, potassium and inflammation fighting antioxidants, regular consumption of blueberries has recently been connected to a healthier brain. Full Omega-3 fatty acids (which also help reduce inflammation), copper and manganese, walnuts may help protect against certain types of cancer. Combine these two superfoods with vitamin C-infused oranges, heart healthy oats and anti-inflammatory cinnamon, and you’ve got a pie-in-a-glass that’s also great for your health.