Recipe Review: Roasted Walnuts

by holli on January 23, 2012

Tasty Roasted Walnuts: Brain Superfood

With a City under snow for the week, I’ve had more time at home than usual. So, what do you do on a cold day inside? Bake. Actually, I spent 2 of our snowy days playing far to long outside with the kids. I needed a day in to rest my sore muscles! And baking not only provided a good excuse, it also helps warm up the house.

Walnuts: A Super Food – Have you heard about how wonderful Walnuts are for your brain? Have you also heard that nuts are hard to digest? Well, as chance would have it, I read the book, “Making a Good Brain Great,” by Daniel Amen, MD a few years ago. He’s a Neurologist and Psychologist, and brings the sciences to us common folks through his books. I loved reading about how our brains work and how we can encourage them to work better. And, surprise, one way is to eat good fats, like Walnuts. In the book, he provides several recipes for “healthy brain” snacks. For Walnuts, I was surprised to see them soaked in salt water, then roasted. All my previous “health” research was pushing raw nuts as best. So, I assumed the Dr. Amen’s recipe was for folk who are addicted to eating over roasted, extra salty, additive laden processed nuts. So, lightly roasting and salting would be an easier alternative. Not true. My assumptions were wrong.

For Christmas, I got the book, “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. I had previously checked it out from the Library. It was a 57 person que to get the book. I had it long enough to know that I couldn’t possibly make it through before I had to return it, but that I wanted to read it – all 623 pages of it. This “cook book” is not messing around. The parts I enjoy reading in the book are about recipes and why it requires a certain process: like soaking nuts!

Raw nuts, according to the book, contain enzyme inhibitors (making them hard to digest and actually bad for you if you eat handfuls of raw nuts everyday). The solution? Soak the nuts in salt water before roasting! Apparently the salt in the water helps to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. So, Dr. Amen’s recipe makes sense now. Nourishing Traditions suggests soaking different nuts for different lengths. Here is the recipe I used, with slight personal modifications which are noted:

Recipe: Roasted Walnuts

Ingredients:

– 1 Teaspoon Salt (Sea Salt or Natural Salt)

– 2 Cups raw Walnuts

– 2 Cups Water + as needed (enough to cover the nuts)

Mix the salt into about 2 cups water, add nuts and stir until the nuts are wet and beneath the surface of the water. Add more water as needed. Let the mixture sit at room temperature, or in a warm place for 4-7 hours. Roast on a cookie sheet lined with Parchment paper at 150-200 degrees for 6 hours or until lightly browned. Once every 2 hours, mix the nuts up allowing an even roast for all the nuts. Once dried, store in an airtight container.

Notes:

1) Making a Good Brain Great recommended soaking Walnuts for 4 hours. Nourishing Traditions recommends soaking for at least 7 hours. I did 5 hours of soaking. I don’t know how much of a difference this makes.

2) I roasted the nuts at 200 degrees F, because my oven won’t go as low as 150. If you do roast them that low, it may take up to 12 hours to thoroughly dry them.

3) Nourishing Traditions recommends storing Walnuts in the refrigerator because the oils in the nuts go rancid quickly. They are tasty! I think we’ll eat them up before they go rancid for sure.

p.s. Shared on Monday Mania Recipe Roundup and Fat Tuesday Recipe Party!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill@RealFoodForager.com January 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-january-24-2012

Share your great fermented food recipes at my Probiotic Food Linky – open through Februray 6, 2012.
http://realfoodforager.com/probiotic-food-challenge-linky/

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dog treats January 2, 2014 at 1:34 am

I love it when people get together and share ideas. Great website,
continue the good work!

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John Wood October 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

‘at 150-200 degrees’ degrees C or degrees F, big difference

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holli October 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Yes, John, you are correct, big difference. But, I’m in the US, and talk about that in my About page, so assumed folks would know I’m talking F.

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