WHAT IS A WALNUT?
One of the oldest food sources known to man, they are thought to have come from Persia over 9,000 years ago. The edible seeds of these stone fruits are well protected by its armor-like shell. The meat inside walnuts looks like a human brain with 2 lobes and a split down the middle. However be careful! If the outer shell starts to decompose, the mold can create a toxin called Penitrem that is potentially fatal. This poison can contaminate the nut itself as well as the shell in some cases.
WHY ARE WALNUTS GOOD FOR YOU?
An exceptionally healthy option, walnuts are rich in minerals (copper, molybdenum, manganese, biotin) as well as omega 3 fats! They’re also a great source of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, antioxidants and protein! Basically if it looks like a brain, it’s probably good for your brain!
WHEN ARE WALNUTS IN SEASON?
In North America they are a Fall harvest, primarily September to October (south of the equator March to May). You can harvest walnuts after they’ve fallen to the ground but don’t wait too long (mold)!
HEROIN, CRACK COCAINE AND WALNUTS ON F.D.A. HIT LIST?
An American company that listed some of the health benefits of walnuts has been put on notice by the American Food and Drug Administration. In a “fiercely-worded letter from the agency allegedly insisted Diamond Foods, from Stockton, California, remove the health claims or send off for a new drug application if it did not wish to be closed down.” To read more, click here!
WHAT KINDS OF RECIPES USE WALNUTS?
So you have 2 choices, either puree your walnuts and use them as a fat like dairy or embrace their low moisture content. The latter means sprinkling them on top of finished meals (like salads), or cooking them with other more moist ingredients (like when you bake a pie).