‘ Health Benefits of Walnuts & Their Versatility ‘


#AceFoodNews – Dec.10 – According to (Health Castle ) These wrinkly lobes surely are popular and versatile! Walnuts have a long history as food, having been around from as far back as 7,000 B.C., and were popular as food for the royals in ancient Persia. Nowadays, the US is a major producer of walnuts, with the bulk of the nuts coming from the state of California. Among all nuts, walnuts pack significantly higher amount omega-3 fatty acids ALA! They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Indeed, walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein!

Health Benefits of Walnuts

Heart-Health Benefits: 

More than a decade of scientific evidence shows that incorporating walnuts in a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel elasticity and plaque accumulation. Walnuts have also been shown to aid in the lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and the C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP was recently recognized as an independent marker and predictor of heart disease.

Diabetes Benefits:

A study published in Diabetes Care in 2010 found that 2 ounces of walnuts per day improve blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes.  A previous study also found that a diet supplemented with walnuts help type 2 diabetes patients lower their LDL cholesterol by 10%.

Nutrition Tidbits for Walnuts

1 oz (14 halves) of shelled whole walnuts contains:

  • Calories: 185 kcal
  • Fat: 18.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 4.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Glycemic Index (GI): Low (below 55)

FDA Approved Health Claim for Walnuts

In 2003, the FDA recognized the benefits of nuts and their role in heart disease prevention by approving a health claim for 7 kinds of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts). These seven nuts were approved as they are the only kinds that contain less than 4 grams of saturated fats per 50 grams.

In response to a petition filed by the California Walnut Commission, the FDA further endorsed the health benefits of walnuts by approving the following health claim in March 2004.

Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Adding Walnuts in a Healthy Diet

Nuts in general are high in calories, so moderation is the key. The best approach is to reap the health benefits of eating walnuts but not add excessive calories to your daily intake. Therefore, instead of just adding walnuts to your current diet, eat them in replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats (such as cheese and meat) and limit your intake of these tasty treats to the recommended 1.5 oz per day. That is about 20 walnut halves.

Walnuts add a flavorful crunch to dishes. Here are some simple ideas to incorporate walnuts in your diet to reap their health benefits:

  • instead of snacking on cookies, crack some walnuts open and eat them as snacks
  • instead of using meat, toss toasted walnuts in your salad or pasta to add some crunch
  • instead of layering pepperoni, use chopped walnuts in your pizza
  • instead of eating bacons or eggs, use walnuts as a protein choice by sprinkling chopped walnuts in your oatmeal or breakfast cereal

#AFHN2014

QUICK RECIPE: ‘ Pork with Cherry Juice Glaze or Fresh Cherries ‘


#AceRecipeNews – Dec.10 – What makes this quick (35 minutes or less) dish inviting is a sweet and tart pan sauce/glaze. Pan sauces or glazes can enhance the flavour of just about any protein, especially pork. They can also mask an overcooked piece meat — especially pork, which is easily overdone.

For the sauce/glaze in today’s recipe frozen tart cherry juice concentrate is used(though you can get fresh cherries and blend your own).

The juice is blended with the pan juices from the cooked pork. Because the concentrate flavors are intense, a small amount goes a long way. You can the use fresh concentrates and mix with water to your taste or use 100% juices. But keep in mind the mixture will cook down some and the flavour will intensify.

With this recipe you can use other juices too, such as pomegranate and blueberry. Like cherry juice, they are loaded with antioxidants and make terrific pan sauces.

RECIPE: 

Pork with Cherry Juice Glaze

Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 35 minutes

If using fresh juice for the glaze, omit the water and use more fresh juice.

Ingredients

■ 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil

■ 4 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each and 1-inch thick)

■ ¼ cup all-purpose flour

■ Salt and black pepper to taste

■ All-purpose seasoning to taste

■ ½ teaspoon dried thyme

■ ¼ teaspoon garlic powder to taste

1/3 cup brandy or sherry or chicken broth

■ ½ cup frozen tart cherry juice concentrate, thawed, or substitute 1 cup fresh juice

■ ½ cup water

■ Caramelized onions, optional

■ Cooked basmati rice, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Trim excess fat from the pork chops. In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper, all-purposing seasoning, thyme and garlic powder.

When the oil is hot, dredge the pork chips in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Place in the skillet and brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and place the entire skillet in the oven. Cook the pork chops until the internal temperature is about 145 degrees, about 12 minutes.

The skillet handle is hot so carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Transfer the pork chops to a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, place the skillet back on the stove and bring the pan juices to a boil. Add the brandy to the pan and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Add the juice concentrate and water. Bring to a boil again and cook until the mixture reduces slightly and is of a glaze consistency.

If desired, serve with the pork along with caramelized onions and toasted basmati rice.

From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

303 calories (34% from fat), 12 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat), 12 gramscarbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 57 mg sodium, 88 mg cholesterol, 28 mgcalcium, 0 grams fiber.

#AFHN2014