The walnut has a particularly high polyunsaturated fatty acid content that includes a sizeable amount in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It is also very rich in antioxidants and phytosterols. All major factors for cardiovascular health.
So what better reason to include them in your menu… but it’s important that you first know how to select and preserve them. In fact, omega-3 fats are very fragile and oxidize rapidly. All too often, nuts that are sold shelled begin to turn rancid in the grocery store itself. So you should buy them in their shell and keep them in an airtight jar, away from light, at temperatures below 10°C (in the refrigerator or even the freezer).
To bring out all the flavour, you can roast the nuts before serving or using in a recipe. You simply have to spread the shelled nuts on a metal baking sheet in an oven at 175°C/350°F. Roast for about ten minutes until lightly browned and a pleasant aroma is released.
Try some of our recipes that feature walnuts:
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on October 4, 2014.