Amy Sherman

Walnuts Add a Healthy Touch to Easy Christmas Party Recipes

walnuts

The holidays are upon us; please set your scales back ten pounds. Yes, it’s that special time of year when we go to dinners and parties, take pleasure in decadently delicious food, and then feel guilty about it until January rolls around. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not if you indulge in the the right kind of ingredients.

 

Walnuts are a perfect example. They are luxurious and rich but at the same time a superfood. Walnuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, a heart healthy fat. A handful of them as a snack can also help diminish hunger before meals.  Best of all, walnuts fit into holiday party menus with ease, adding crunch to everything from Rocky Road Candy for gift giving to tarts and salads and stuffings.

 

The vast majority of walnuts in the U.S., almost a half million tons annually, come from California. Harvested from September to November, they are particularly fresh right now. Some chefs and health experts prefer walnuts toasted while others like them raw. Here’s how to make the most of walnuts, including tips on toasting them the right way:

 

1. Store walnuts in the refrigerator for up to six months or in the freezer for up to one year. And if you buy them in the shell, don’t crack them until you are ready to use them;

 

2. The simplest way to toast walnuts is in the oven, on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes;

 

3. Roasted walnuts are one of the easiest gifts to take to a holiday dinner or just to give as a gift; try these Cajun Spiced Walnuts;

 

4. Walnuts are a natural in salads, but also work beautifully blended into salad dressings, as in this Kale, Apple, Pancetta, and Walnut Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing—a two-for-one treat;

 

5. Toasted walnuts make a great topping for appetizers and dips, like Gorgonzola and Tasted Walnut Spread.

 

And be sure to try these great walnuts recipes, from holidays appetizers on through to Christmas desserts:

 

 

 

Roasted Nut Snack

walnuts

Variety is the spice of life! Choose any one of five seasoning mixes to use with walnuts in this roasted nut mix.

 

 

 

Pear and Walnut Salad

walnuts

This salad is short on ingredients but long on flavor, colorful too.

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts Leaves with Bacon and Walnuts

walnuts

Bacon and walnuts take Brussels sprouts from everyday to holiday

 

 

 

Chocolate Walnut Turnovers

walnuts

No baking skills required! This recipe uses pre-made puff pasty and take only 15 minutes to prepare.

 

 

 

Chocolate Walnut Torte

walnuts

Everyone loves chocolate cake and this luscious one is a showstopper.

 

 

 

Get set for the holidays with these easy Christmas party recipes!

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Amy Sherman turns seasonal, easy to find ingredients into easy no-fuss meals. Go to Easy Does It for all her recipes and read her blog, Cooking with Amy.

 

 

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