Simple Toasted Walnuts
Walnuts are an incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-heart-disease food. Studies have shown that eating just 3 servings of walnuts a week cuts your risk of dying by certain types of cancer in half. If you want to learn more about nuts, feel free to check out the video by Dr Michael Gregor, author of NYT Best-Selling book, How Not To Die (a hilarious title), and also author of the nutrition site, NutritionFacts.org. You can see his video here.
I don’t personally care for the taste of raw english walnuts, but when they are toasted, they become rich and buttery. They’re an excellent addition to salads, so I tend to throw a tablespoon on whenever I eat one.
Walnuts (all nuts actually) are kind of a pain to toast only when you need them. But they are very easy to toast in bulk and make a great Meal Prep Building Block. I recently learned a secret about roasting (baking) them on a lower heat setting and naturally, it comes with an embarrassing story.
Before I knew better, I used to use my broiler to get my walnuts all toasty. This was always super time intensive because I had to watch them like a hawk – they’d scorch within 30 seconds of being done (sort of like how an avocado ripens).
Well one night, I forgot to put the timer on while I was putting together 5 other things for a complicated salad. Suffice to say, when you smell something burning, open your oven with dread, and have flames shoot immediately out at your face, it does not result in a pleasant supper. There was shrieking, there was the smoke alarm going off, and there was (thank god) my hand-held fire extinguisher I keep right by the oven.
I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t had it, walnuts would have burned my house down.
A much gentler method is to turn your oven on to 325 and roast them, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes or so, until they are to your liking. Whole walnuts I’ve found tend to take about 20 minutes, but I like them nice and toasty.
Let’s take a look at some raw walnuts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, ready to go into the oven.
Those look great, but honestly, wait until you see them toasted on low, coaxing out the oils slowly. They look like chocolate! Despite how dark these guys are, they don’t taste burnt in the least. That’s thanks to the low toasting temperature.
I toast them whole and chop them up afterward, for storage. The whole process takes 25 minutes, mostly hands-off. I just let them cook and stick them in a mason jar and keep them with all my salad stuff in easy reach. This ensures they get used and not forgotten.
They’ll keep a week or two in a jar with a tight lid. Oh, and I just buy my walnuts in the bulk section. I get organic english walnuts – apparently black walnuts do not have the same anti-inflammatory benefits. Also: walnut oil also does not appear to have the same anti-inflammatory properties as real walnuts.
Looking for more ways to eat walnuts? Try our homemade low-sugar granola!
Toasted English Walnuts
Nutrition Per Serving