Maple Walnuts

A walnut is an edible seed of a tree of the genus Juglans.  Juglans is a Latin contraction of Jovis glans meaning the nut of Jupiter or nut of the gods.

The Juglans regia (meaning regal), also known as the common walnut, is believed to be native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia.

Franciscan priests are said to have brought the walnut to California around 1770. 1

Walnut oil has been used for centuries in the preparation of oil paints, and is a non-toxic alternative to paint solvents. 2

Walnuts are high in ALA omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants.  They also contain fiber and protein.  Research suggests walnuts may protect against coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.  Also, fat reportedly makes up ~60% of the human brain. Omega-3 fatty acids, like those in walnuts, are believed to help build and maintain a healthy brain. 3, 4

This week’s recipe is Maple Walnuts, adapted from Cynthia Lair’s  “Sweet Glazed Nuts” recipe.  The real maple syrup hardens into a crunchy, thin “toffee” glaze on the rich toasted walnuts.  These maple walnuts are a simple, portable dessert one can feel good about.  They can be enjoyed alone or on hot cereal, rice or salads.  Substitute your favorite raw nut for walnuts if you like.

Nut Allergy Disclaimer: Walnut allergies are less common than peanut allergies.  Still, it is good to be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.  If one does exhibit signs of an allergic reaction, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible as anaphylaxis may result.  Symptoms of an walnut allergy may include itching, burning, or swelling of the mouth, GI distress, vomiting, localized skin rash or irritation.  If the reaction is severe, anaphylaxis may result. 5

Maple Walnuts

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Yield:  1-2 servings

Ingredients:

Butter or oil
1/3 cup raw walnuts or favorite raw nut
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Equipment:

Baking sheet
Bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Spoon
Spatula

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Lightly coat baking sheet with butter or oil.

Combine nuts, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with spoon to coat the nuts.

Spread nut mixture onto baking sheet.

Bake until nuts are golden and maple syrup bubbly – about 15 minutes.  Let cool.

Remove nuts from baking sheet with spatula.

Enjoy!

Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

References:

1.  International Society for Horticultural Science

2.  Genesis Art Supplies

3.  USDA Nutrient Database

4.  Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center

5.  Kids Health Nut Allergy Fact Sheet

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