Heart-healthy recipes from the folks at California Walnut

Tuesday 26th Jan 2021 |

Ahead of National Heart Month (February), California Walnuts has shared five heart healthy recipes.

Scientific research suggests California Walnuts may offer benefits to your heart, for example a handful of walnuts a day can have a positive effect on the elasticity of the blood vessels helping to keep the cardiovascular system healthy[2].

California Walnuts are also the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), 2.7g/ 30g, that the body needs but can only get from food and which helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels[3].

The mild and creamy flavour of California Walnuts means they can be used to add extra taste and texture to a variety of dishes.  So why not try them in one of these heart healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack ideas this February, and beyond?

California Walnut Muesli Baked Nectarines

california walnut

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 20 minutes. Serves 4

  • 4 ripe nectarines, halved and stoned 
  • 50g California Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • 25g oats
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4.
  2. Place the nectarine halves cut side up in a roasting tin so they fit quite snuggly.
  3. Mix together the walnuts, raisins, oats and honey and spoon over the nectarines. Add 4 tbsp boiling water to the bottom of the tin and bake for 20 minutes until tender and golden.
  4. Serve with Greek yogurt.

Cooks tip

Swap the raisins for other dried fruit such as apricots, sultanas or dates.

Aubergine & California Walnut Parmigiano

california walnut

Prep: 20 minutes. Cook: 30 minutes. Serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced 
  • 100g broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 50g California Walnuts, finely chopped plus 15 whole Walnuts
  • 125g pack reduced fat mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 400g passata
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.
  2. Brush the aubergine slices with a little oil and griddle or fry for 1-2 minutes each side.
  3. Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and fry the pepper, broccoli, tomatoes and chopped walnuts for 4-5 minutes until softened, season well. 
  4. Select the 12 largest aubergine slices and place half a slice of mozzarella in the centre, divide the filling between the slices and roll up, placing them seal side down in a greased ovenproof serving dish. Finely chop any remaining aubergine slices and stir into the passata, pour this over the aubergine rolls and scatter over the remaining mozzarella, torn and the whole walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes until golden and tender.

Cooks tip

Great served with a salad and crusty bread.  Make this dish in advance and simply cook when needed.

Miso California Walnut & Chicken Stir Fry

california walnut

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Serves 4

  • 2 tsp white miso paste 
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 500g chicken breast fillet, sliced
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 75g California Walnuts
  • 1 red onion, sliced 
  • 1 green pepper, sliced 
  • 2 large ripe plums, stoned and cut into wedges
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  1. Mix the miso with 1 tbsp soy sauce and stir in the chicken.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the chicken for 3 minutes then add the walnuts and onion and fry for a further 3 minutes.  Stir in the pepper and plums and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened, add in the remaining soy sauce off the heat. 
  3. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Cooks tip

Great served with rice or noodles. Try using hoisin sauce instead of the soy. This works well with pork fillet too.

California Walnut Tea Loaf

Prep: 15 minutes plus soaking. Cook: 1 hour. Serves 10

  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 75g dried figs, quartered
  • 75g pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 75g California Walnuts, roughly chopped plus 12 whole walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4.  Grease and line a 1kg loaf tin.
  2. Mix together the fruit in a bowl and add the tea bags, pour over 300ml boiling water and leave to steep for 20 minutes, discard the tea bags.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, flour and sugar in a large bowl and stir in the dried fruits plus all the liquid and the chopped walnuts.  Pour into the prepared tin, arrange the whole walnuts on top and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean, cover with foil if the top begins to get too dark.
  4. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

Cooks tip

Any flavour tea bag will work just as well. Great for on the go breakfast or afternoon teatime.

Strawberry, California Walnut & Date Smoothie

Prep: 5 minutes. Serves 2

  • 200g strawberries, halved
  • 50g California Walnuts, plus extra to serve
  • 3 pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 100ml milk
  1. Place all the ingredients in a smoothie maker or blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses.
  2. Serve sprinkled with extra chopped walnuts.

Cooks tip

Try raspberries or blueberries instead of strawberries or try adding pitted dates instead of prunes.

Craving healthy food swaps?