- Food and Cooking
3 Cheers for Walnut Oil
Walnut Oil Benefits, Recipes, Info
My first intro to walnut oil came a couple years ago, when I was planning a small dinner party. Walnuts aren't normally a huge part of my diet, but I wanted to try a simple French potato recipe that called for walnut oil, so I hunted some down. The oil was packaged with a few recipes, and the one that caught my eye immediately was a vinaigrette with just 3 ingredients.I love good vinaigrette, and I love simplicity in cooking even more. So I tried it, and it was incredible. Three ingredients, 3 good shakes of a jelly jar, a taste, and I felt like I was in France. Only later did I learn walnut oil is even healthier than it is delicious.
Health Benefits of Walnut Oil
> Walnut oil contains a fabulous mix of omegas 3 and 6 -- essential fatty acids -- and omega 9. Many nutritionists suggest a balance of 3, 6, and 9 is key to keeping healthy.
> It is rich in antioxidants, which zap cell-damaging / cell-aging free radicals.
> It's jampacked with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, niacin, selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, and several B vitamins.
> It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), promotes a better good-bad cholesterol ratio, and may lower the risk of heart disease.
> And a study last year suggested walnut oil may even improve reactions to stress. Wow!
Benefits of walnut oil for your health
Recipe: Walnut oil vinaigrette
Wondering about that 3-ingredient vinaigrette recipe that hooked me?
Here it is:
4 tbsp walnut oil (preferably roasted walnut oil -- amazing flavor!)
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
Okay, so it's 5 ingredients if you count the salt & pepper ...
But it could not be easier. Just combine ingredients and whisk, or do what I do and shake 'em up in a jelly jar or small, lidded food storage container. The whole process takes about 3 minutes. Which is just about right for my lifestyle! What you get is a rich, creamy vinaigrette that won't clash with anything else you're serving.
Where to get walnut oil
The first time I needed this, I lucked out and found a wonderful brand at my local grocery -- La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil. By the time I'd polished off that bottle, my store no longer carried this product, so I bought another brand instead. It was okay. Fine, really. But it lacked the rich, almost decadent nuttiness of La Tourangelle's, which I guess must come from the "Roasted" aspect. So I made a pact to stock up on the good stuff. I order & reorder from Amazon. Bonus: Check the customer reviews for some nice tips on cooking with walnut oil.
More walnut oil recipies
Walnut oil is heavenly with salads and veggies, in pasta sauces, and in baked goods (think holidays!). Try these:
Do you use walnut oil?
What's your favorite way to use walnut oil?