Nuts are a very energetic and nutritious food, which you must discover.
- Season : they are in the market all year round, although their best time is in winter.
- Benefits : they are nutritionally highly concentrated and provide omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids.
- Ideal for : athletes, children and young people, and people with cardiovascular problems.
Energetic and very nutritious
It is an energetic and compact food , with low water content, only 2.4 g per 100 g, and therefore very interesting as a snack in cases of effort. Walnuts provide around 600 Kcal per 100 g of which 10-15% are proteins , approximately 80% fat and 5% carbohydrates . The fats that are part of this food are mainly polyunsaturated. Walnuts are a good source of B vitamins , especially B1, B2, B3 and especially B6. As for minerals , its content of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese stands out.
Nuts are of many types
Although when we talk about walnut we traditionally understand that we are talking about the fruit of the common walnut (Juglans regia), there are other types of fruits also called walnut with characteristics similar to those of the walnut but peculiarities that differentiate them. These are the Macadamia nut, the Pecan nut and the Brazil or Amazon nut . There is even nutmeg , which in this case is a part of a seed that is used as a spice and nutritionally has nothing to do with those mentioned above. Although there is similarity between the different nuts that are discussed, this article is based exclusively on the common nut.
How to take them
Although a handful of freshly split raw walnuts is the most common way to advise them, it is a food that can be part of an aperitif as well as a dessert , as well as a first or second course. If we combine them with cereals, we obtain a nutritionally complete protein. It can be taken in main meals and between meals, with sweet or with salty, they have infinite applications. As an aperitif it can accompany fresh foods such as tomatoes or processed foods such as good cheese. In first courses it can be part of salads or accompany a pasta dish , also in seconds it can be part of a sauce that dresses a meat, or it can be taken in ice cream for dessert , with chocolate or with fruits or other nuts and dried fruits forming part of the musician’s dessert.
The word nut names several different things that have little or nothing to do with each other. Specifically in botany, a nut or nocula is a type of fruit such as chestnuts, acorns or hazelnuts. The funny thing is that the walnut, or walnut fruit, is botanically not considered a walnut but a drupe, which is another type of fruit.
Who are they suitable for and who are not?
They are recommended for:
- Athletes : its energy capacity and nutritional power, together with its low weight, make it the ideal food to carry with you and to be able to recharge your batteries at any given time. Therefore, athletes, especially those who practice endurance sports, have an ally in the nut. In addition, the anti-inflammatory power of omega 3 is also considered a point in favor of its consumption in hard training and tests.
- Children : it is a perfect snack to meet the energy and nutritional needs of children in general.
- Cardiovascular problems : its energy content is based mainly on polyunsaturated fatty acids, some of them omega 3. These fatty acids are considered to have positive effects on the circulatory and therefore cardiovascular level.
They are not suitable in case:
- Gastric problems : the tannin content of the skin, which gives it that rough, astringent sensation and a bitter touch, makes them a bit indigestible for people with a delicate or sensitive stomach.
- Excess weight : they can be taken in moderation without problem but should not be abused due to the caloric content they provide
Buying and conservation advice
The best way to preserve them is whole, in a cool, dry and dark place , although the shell offers protection. Once opened, we must bear in mind that their content of polyunsaturated fatty acids causes them to easily become rancid, so we must keep them in a closed container to avoid contact with oxygen as much as possible and protected from light. We will not mix them with other foods that give off odor so that they do not take inappropriate odors.
We can achieve nutritionally complete proteins if we combine nuts with cereals as we do in some pasta or rice recipes or in breads and nut cakes. This happens because walnuts are deficient in the essential amino acid methionine, of which cereals have a good amount.
VEGETABLE AND WALNUT RISOTTO
- Brown rice (about 60-80 g raw per person)
- Green pepper
- Peeled nuts
- Sultanas raisins
- Vegetable broth
- Olive oil
- Parsley (optional)
Clean and chop the leek, zucchini and green pepper. Heat a little oil in a deep frying pan or casserole and brown and then sauté the 3 ingredients. Once the ingredients are somewhat golden, add the rice and then the vegetable broth (two measures of broth for each measure of rice). When the rice is finishing cooking, about 15-16 minutes, add the sultana raisins and the chopped walnuts. If you want a slightly cooler touch, you can chop a little parsley and add it. Finish cooking and serve.