Superfood in the spotlight: Walnuts

Posted in Nutrition

Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, copper and manganese, walnuts are a delicious superfood that can reduce the risks of certain types of cancer, help prevent heart disease and promote a healthy brain. They are also rich in an unusual form of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol form) that provides many heart protecting benefits.

Part of the tree nut family, just eating three (whole) walnuts per day can bring great health benefits.

Being high in calories its consumption should not go over the recommended amount for a balanced food plan and should complement a healthy diet. Best eaten whole, there are many recipes that include this delicious nutty flavor. To have a healthy and flavorful substitute for your bread and cracker spread this is our spice and tasty suggestion, in a signature recipe by Stacey from goodnessis.com.

ROASTED RED PEPPER WALNUT SPREAD

Makes about 2 cups

I have been looking for a another tasty dip other than the usual hummus or guacamole we serve so often here, and one that satisfies the matured taste buds of young adults. The roasted pepper adds a distinct sweetness and the toasted walnuts & breadcrumbs balance out that sweetness. It is great served as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or over a base for a pizza.

Recipe inspired in 101 cookbooks – Heidi Swanson.

ingredients:

  • 3 medium red pepper (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole/grain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra/virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 Tblsp honey\pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp fine-grain rock salt

Recipe:

Pre – heat the oven to 410F/210C.

Place the whole peppers on a rimmed tray lined with a baking sheet. Roast, until the skin has become charred, and wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes.

While the peppers roast, place a few slices of sourdough bread in the oven and toast until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes, place the walnuts into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

When the peppers are ready, remove from the oven and gather up the corners of the baking sheet from the tray and wrap the peppers (use a kitchen towel to help if it is too hot). This will steam them enabling the skins to easily peel off.

Cool until you can handle them, about 15 minutes, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems. Keep the liquid from the peppers to add to the processor. Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Using a food processor attached with an S blade, process the breadcrumbs, when coarsely ground, measure out 1/4 cup and return to the processor, add the chilli flakes and walnuts and process until the walnuts are roughly ground.
Add the cumin seeds, olive oil, honey, tomato paste, salt and skinned peppers with their roasting liquid, process until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth consistency.

Garnish with basil leaves, extra walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with fresh crackers, toasted bread, or with freshly made chapati and a green, garden salad.

Posted in Nutrition