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Are Walnuts Good For Your Hair?

It’s no secret that walnuts are extremely good for you, but did you know that they’re particularly beneficial for your hair? That’s right, eating walnuts on a regular basis can do wonders for the health of your scalp and health; here are just some of the benefits that you could see. 

Walnuts Can Help To Prevent Hair Loss 

Hair loss is a very common problem and has many causes, one of which is not consuming enough selenium. While Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, walnuts are also a rich source. Besides providing the body with essential selenium, walnuts are also a fantastic source of biotin, vitamin B7, which improves the body’s keratin structure and strengthens hair. 

Walnuts Can Help To Treat Dandruff 

Your scalp needs oils to stay hydrated. Usually, these oils are secreted by the sebaceous glands within your hair follicles, but sometimes these can dry up. Without sufficient lubrication, your scalp can become dry and irritated, leading to dandruff. Fortunately, eating omega-rich foods can help to kick start your scalp’s natural oil production, and walnuts happen to be one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that there is. So the next time you notice your scalp becoming dry, try snacking on an extra portion of walnuts. 

Walnuts Can Add Shine To Your Hair

The key to naturally shiny hair isn’t using a lot of hair products; it’s eating the right foods. Omega-rich foods, like walnuts, help to keep your scalp and hair follicles hydrated, while vitamin B7 and vitamin E help to keep hair strong and stop split ends from forming. Over time, a healthy diet full of healthy fats is the best way to achieve naturally shiny hair. If you find that your hair needs a little extra boost, then directly applying a little walnut oil to your scalp and end will give your hair the gloss you crave. 

Walnuts Can Help Your Hair Grow Longer

Lastly, all of the good stuff mentioned above will also help your hair to grow longer if that’s your goal. A well-nourished scalp and hydrated hair will reduce hair breakages helping to keep your hair luscious and thick, while the extra keratin and vitamin B7 encourage more hair growth. Over a few months, by eating walnuts daily, you should begin to see dramatic changes to the overall health of your hair. 

If you love walnuts or if you are only starting to give them a go recently, you'll want to check out this blog where we've piled all the info on everything (and we mean everything) you need to know about walnuts! If you've never tried our premium California walnuts, you should. It may just be the freshest walnut you'll ever taste.

June 22, 2021 by Gillian Brady

Is Walnut Milk A Thing?

You’ve probably heard of almond milk, macadamia milk, and possibly even hazelnut milk, but the latest nut milk that’s all the rage is walnut milk. But before you get into the ins and outs of walnut milk, check out this article.

What Is Walnut Milk?

As the name suggests, walnut milk is a dairy-free milk alternative made using walnuts. Although the idea of turning hard, dry walnuts into milk may seem strange, it’s actually a surprisingly easy process and produces a deliciously nutty, creamy, and nutritious drink. 

The Health Benefits Of Drinking Walnut Milk

When it comes to walnut milk, not all walnut drinks are created equal, and the health benefits you can expect to gain will depend on the quantity and quality of nuts used. While some walnut milk is barely more than a water emulsion, other brands use more nuts, and therefore more of the nuts' health benefits make it into the final drink. If you’re looking to boost your intake of healthy fats or are trying to consume more antioxidants, then eating walnuts in their whole form is your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a nutritious, dairy-free milk alternative, walnut milk is definitely worth trying. 

How To Make Walnut Milk

There are plenty of jokes about how to best milk a nut, but the truth is, nuts aren’t milked, and their journey to becoming nut milk usually starts in a blender. Here’s how to make your own walnut milk at home. Before you begin, check out these 5 tips on how to make sure you're getting fresh, high quality walnuts.

You Will Need: 

To make 4 cups of walnut milk.

2 cups of high quality shelled walnuts 

4 cups of water 

1 teaspoon of sea salt 

A nut milk bag

Optional: Maple syrup, sweetener, or agave for a sweetened version

Turning Walnuts Into Walnut Milk:

To get the most out of your walnuts, you will need to soak them overnight. Add your walnuts to a bowl and cover them with cold water, leaving them at room temperature to soak overnight.  

Once your walnuts have soaked, drain away their water and rinse them clean. 

Add your soaked walnuts, 4 cups of water, and sea salt to a blender. If you’re making sweetened milk, then add in your sweetener at this stage too. 

Blend everything together at high speed until finely ground and the water looks opaque. 

To create smooth milk, you now need to strain your walnut milk mixture using a nut milk bag or a fine cheesecloth. You may need to do this a couple of times. Give the pulp a massage to ensure that you capture as much liquid as possible. 

And that’s all there is to it. Bottle up your walnut milk and keep it in the refrigerator for 2-4 days. You will need to shake the bottle before you use it. 

How To Use Your Walnut Pulp

Whenever you make any kind of nut milk, you’re always going to be left with a pile of pulp. Nut pulp is still extremely nutritious and is packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats - so don’t throw it away! Here are some things to do with your leftover nut pulp. 

Add It To A Smoothie

Freeze your nut pulp into an ice-cube tray and add an ice cube whenever you want some extra fiber in one of your smoothies. If you drink many smoothies, you can keep your pulp fresh in the fridge for 1-2 days. 

Make It Into Muffins

If you’re making walnut milk, then a tray of coffee and walnut muffins are definitely on the cards. Simply add your walnut pulp to your muffin mixture, and away you go. If your walnut pulp is still quite wet, then you may need to adjust your ratio of wet to dry ingredients. 

Bake It Into Granola

Finally, spread your nut pulp evenly on a baking tray and bake until golden and crisp for an easy, nutty granola base. Throw in some oats, raisins, cinnamon, and seeds to create your own granola mix without wasting anything from your nut milk. 

June 04, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Quick, Easy and Healthy Walnut Pesto

Pesto makes a delicious and versatile accompaniment to so many dishes. Throw it on pizza, use it as a dip, add it to pasta, or try it as a marinade for your chicken - the possibilities with pesto seem nearly endless. Traditionally, pesto is made using pine nuts, but virtually any other nut can be used as a tasty substitute. We particularly love the nutty flavor of walnut pesto, which is packed with healthy omega-3s and a huge hit of antioxidants. Here’s how to make it. 

How To Make Walnut Pesto

If you already have a recipe for traditional pine-nut pesto, then substituting walnuts for pine nuts gram for gram will work absolutely fine. If you aren’t working from a recipe, then here’s our version for you to try. 

You Will Need:

  • ½ a cup of walnuts
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 cup of fresh basil 
  • 1 lemon, juiced, and zested (use the zest as a garnish)
  • 1 cup of spinach 
  • ¼ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese 
  • Pinch of sea salt 

How To Make Your Pesto Using A Food Processor

The good news about making pesto is that all of your ingredients can be added to a  food processor. Simply add everything listed above to a food processor and blitz together in pulses until it reaches the texture you like. 

How To Make Pesto Without A Food Processor 

If you don’t have a food processor to hand, then don’t fear - you can still make this delicious pesto using a pestle and mortar. 

  1. Start by chopping your garlic into small pieces and then grinding these in the pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. 
  2. Once you have a smooth-ish garlic paste, add in your basil, spinach, and lemon juice and crush the leaves until they are homogeneous with the garlic. 
  3. Next, add in your walnuts, crushing them into small pieces, and toss in your grated parmesan cheese. 
  4. As you grind your ingredients together with the pestle and mortar, add in small drizzles of olive oil to keep everything moving. 
  5. Once your pesto reaches your desired consistency, give it a taste and adjust your seasoning with extra salt and lemon juice if needed. 

Tips For Making The Perfect Walnut Pesto

Use High-Quality English Walnuts 

For the best flavor and maximum nutritional value, always try to use high-quality English walnuts. Walnut pieces will work fine if you can’t find walnut halves. 

Use Fresh Basil Leaves

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh basil. While bags of freshly chopped basil will work fine, if you like this recipe, then it may be worth buying a basil plant. 

Omit The Cheese For A Vegan Alternative

If you’re dairy-free or vegan, then swap out the parmesan cheese in this recipe for a pinch of extra salt. Alternatively, try adding in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. 

Use High-Quality Olive Oil

While you can use any oil in this recipe, it undoubtedly tastes best when a high-quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is used. High-quality olive oil is packed with heart-healthy fats and has a more distinct flavor than other oils such as vegetable oil. 

Eat It While It’s Fresh

Although this pesto will store well in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge, it tastes at its best when eaten fresh. After a few days, the basil and spinach may start to discolor. 


So there you have it - now you know how to make a quick, easy and healthy walnut pesto in under five minutes! Want more ideas for what to do with your walnuts or curious to know more about the nut itself? 

May 17, 2021 by Gillian Brady

How To Roast Walnuts

If you’ve never tried roasted nuts before, then you’re in for a treat! When roasted carefully, nuts develop a whole new flavor profile; it’s almost like their flavor intensifies instantly! As well as tasting great, roasted nuts also have a super satisfying crunch to them and can be used to add texture to a variety of snacks and dishes. 

Can You Roast Walnuts?

While peanuts, cashews, and almonds may be some of the more popular nuts to toast, virtually any nut can be roasted - including walnuts. And even better, they have some amazing health benefits. There are two different ways that you roast walnuts; on the stovetop or in the oven. Here’s what you need to do. If you’ve only started eating walnuts recently you might want to check out this article.

How To Roast Walnuts On The Stovetop 

If you’re roasting a small number of raw walnuts, then the easiest way to do it is on the stovetop. Simply grab a frying pan and place it over medium-high heat until hot. No need to add any oil; just add your walnuts, shelled of course, in a single layer, and toast for approximately five minutes. Keep tossing and turning them frequently to stop them from burning and take them off the heat once they smell nice and nutty.


Although it can be tempting to bite into one right away, you’re going to want to transfer your walnuts to a plate and allow them to cool before eating them. This will give them time to become crunchy and will save you from burning your mouth. 

How To Roast Walnuts In The Oven

If you have a lot of raw walnuts to roast, then another way to toast them is in the oven. Simply preheat your oven to around 375 F (190 C) and lay your walnuts in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Leave plenty of room around each walnut for the air to circulate and then pop them in the oven. 


After 5 minutes or so, your kitchen should start to smell like freshly roasted nuts, and if you take a quick peek you should see that your walnuts have started to change color. Walnuts can very quickly go from toasted to burnt, so be sure to check on them regularly and take them out as soon as you start to see a color change. 

Adding Seasoning To Roasted Walnuts

If you want to add seasoning to your roasted walnuts, such as salt, sugar, or cinnamon, then it’s best to do this while they are still hot and fresh out of the pan or oven. During the toasting process, nuts release some of their oils, making it easier for seasoning to stick to them. Prepare your seasoning mix while your nuts are toasting and add it to a large bowl. Once your walnuts are toasted, tip them in the bowl with the seasoning and give everything a good toss together. When your walnuts are evenly coated, take them out of the bowl and allow them to cool on a plate or tray. 

You can use roasted walnuts in salads, baking, stir fry’s, you name it! Looking for some ideas for what to do with roasted walnuts? Check out these 3 easy and quick recipes.

May 17, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Walnuts - Are They Good For You?

Nuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, packing a serious nutritional punch in every delicious mouthful. The oldest tree food known to man, walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts around and are also the only nut to contain high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) which helps to keep the heart-healthy. Here are some of the top walnut nutrition facts. 

Walnut nutrition facts

When separated from their shells, a 1oz serving of walnuts (approximately 28g) provides the following nutrients: 

 

  • 185 calories 
  • 18.5g of fat 
  • 4g of carbohydrates
  • 2g of fibre
  • 4g of protein 

 

Despite being approximately 84% fat, walnuts are only full of the good kind, including unsaturated fat and omega-3’s, meaning that they can actually help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and to keep the heart-healthy. 

How are walnuts good for you?

It’s no secret that the humble walnut is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, providing a whole host of nutritional benefits, here are some of the reasons why walnuts are so good for you.

  • Walnuts are a great source of vital omega-3 fatty acids

Not all fats are created equal. Whereas saturated fat can clog arteries, increase blood pressure and cause heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids can do the opposite. Omega-3 is an essential amino acid, however, we don’t produce it naturally in the body and so must attain it from our food. The good news is that walnuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with a single serving providing 2.5g which is 90% of the recommended daily intake! 

  • Walnuts are also an excellent source of plant-based protein 

Whether you’re into fitness or not, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair and it’s vital that we eat enough of it to stay healthy. Animal products are one of the biggest sources of dietary protein but for those looking to cut down on their meat intake or who are following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, walnuts are a great plant-based source, providing 4g of protein per single 1oz serving. 

  • Walnuts contain cancer-fighting vitamin-E

100g of walnuts contains 140% of the RDA for vitamin-E, a very powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Working from within, vitamin-E helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and can even help to prevent certain types of cancers. What’s more, vitamin-E is also great at slowing the signs of aging, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots on the skin. 

  • Walnuts can help to prevent type-2 diabetes 

Despite their relatively high-calorie content, walnuts are great weight-loss food, helping to suppress appetite, keep you fuller for longer and control food urges. Aside from helping people to lose weight or to control their weight, walnuts have also been found to help stabilise blood sugar levels and can also help to prevent heart disease. 

  • Walnuts balance the gut microbiome

Our gut is responsible for a lot more than simply digesting food, and has even been linked to changes in our mood, our energy levels and our susceptibility to other diseases. A healthy microbiome means a healthy body, and with their high fibre content walnuts are a great gut-healthy food that can help to promote good colon health. 

 

So are walnuts good for you? They most certainly are! So why not start incorporating a single 1oz serving of walnuts into your diet and see if you can feel the benefits. Or why not try one of these 3 quick recipes?

 

Curious to know more about walnuts? We cover everything from where they come from, how they're harvested, where to buy the best quality and more in our post Everything You Need To Know About Walnuts. You can also get some of our premium California walnuts delivered right to your door!




February 24, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Pecans Vs. Walnuts - Which Is Better?

Pecans and walnuts are often compared to one another, but the real question is which one is healthier?
January 07, 2021 by Gillian Brady

Walnuts - Everything You Need To Know

Where did walnuts originate? How are they grown? What nutritional benefits do they have, and why should you incorporate them into your diet? - We’ll answer these questions and many more in this article, so read on to learn everything you need to know about walnuts. 
November 25, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

The Main Varieties Of Walnuts And Their Origin

While biting into a walnut cake or grabbing a bag of walnuts from the shelf, the chances are that you’ve never stopped to consider the kind of walnut that you are eating. Did you know that there are 50 species of walnut tree within the Juglandaceae family and yet the walnuts we eat on a regular basis come, almost exclusively, from just two of them? 

The two main varieties of walnut

Within the walnut family, the two varieties that are eaten the most are called Juglans regia, commonly known as the English walnut, and Juglans nigra, also known as the Black walnut. These two varieties alone are responsible for the vast majority of walnut cultivation, with the English walnut coming out on top as the single most cultivated walnut variety in the world. 

Why do we cultivate these two varieties the most?

The English walnut is the most common variety of cultivated walnut, favoured all over the world for its large nut, relatively thin shell and mild, sweet flavour. Over the year’s the English walnut has been selectively bred to enhance its favourable characteristics, maximising yield and its profitability and making it the most popular variety for commercial production. The Black walnut, on the other hand, is a lesser cultivated variety but is still prized for its much more intense walnut flavour. Unlike the English walnut, the Black walnut has a much tougher, thicker husk and shell, making it more difficult to process and crack to get to the nut within. At the end of the day, the reasons why these two varieties are the most cultivated is because their nuts are the most sought after, they are the easiest to grow and they are the most resilient to pests.

Where did walnuts originate from?

Walnuts are widely considered to be the oldest tree food in the world, with archeological evidence showing the consumption of walnuts by humans from as far back as 8000BC. The exact origins of each walnut variety are lesser-known, with some people speculating that the English variety originated in Persia (hence its other name, the Persian walnut) while others consider Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country bordered by Kazakhstan, to be its birthplace due to the large native walnut forests that grow there. Growing native from the Balkans to the Himalayas and southwest China, and also across much of Europe, the English walnut has adapted well to a variety of growing conditions, making it harder to trace its original heritage. 

 

The Black walnut, on the other hand, requires more specific growing conditions, preferring to grow at the edges of rivers or streams. Originating in North America, the Black walnut variety was not introduced to Europe until the mid 16th century and required a warmer climate with plenty of fertile soil in order to thrive.

 

So there you have it - now you know the origin of the humble walnut. Thanks to careful cultivation there are now even more cultivars of the common English walnut variety, reducing crop times and improving the yield of walnut groves for commercial production. Want to read more on walnuts? Check out our post on Everything You Need To know About Walnuts

 

November 21, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

3 Quick Recipes With Walnuts

Walnuts are an extremely versatile ingredient, tasting great on their own as a snack but also making a great addition to cakes, bakes and other recipes. If you’re looking for something quick to do with walnuts, then here are three simple recipes for you to try. However, quality is important so click here to find out where you can find good quality walnuts.

Frosted walnuts

If there’s one thing more delicious than a walnut on its own, it’s a walnut dipped in sugar! These crunchy and sweet delights make a great topping for cakes and ice cream but are also pretty irresistible on their own and you can make them in under 10 minutes. Here’s what you need to do. 

Ingredients

  • 200g of shelled walnuts (400g of in-shell walnuts)
  • 250g of granulated sugar

Method

  1. If you have an extra few minutes to spare then we recommend toasting your walnuts first to extract their maximum flavour. To do this, simply lay them out in a single layer on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for around 5 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Give them a quick toss around halfway through toasting and keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. 
  2. Next, add your sugar and 50ml of water to a saucepan and dissolve the sugar over medium heat. 
  3. Keep cooking the sugar and water mix in the pan until it just begins to colour and then add your toasted walnuts.
  4. Stir the walnuts into the sugar until it crystallizes and then pour the hot mixture out onto a baking tray and leave to cool down and go hard. 
  5. Once cold, break the walnuts apart and store in a cool, dry and airtight jar until you’re ready to use them. They’re best eaten fresh. 

Homemade fruit and nut mix

Fruit and nut mix is a healthy, satisfying and nutritious snack that is perfect for taking with you on the go or for enjoying in front of the TV instead of junk food. Easy to make ahead of time and simple to store, if there’s one thing you make this weekend let it be fruit and nut mix - we promise you won’t buy store-bought again. 

 

Ingredients

  • Walnuts
  • Any other nuts you want 
  • Dried fruit of your choice
  • Seeds of your choice 
  • Chocolate (optional)

Method

  1. Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is how versatile it is, so start out by getting all of your chosen ingredients together. 
  2. Next, if you are using nuts, then we highly recommend toasting them in the oven to maximise their flavour and their crunch. To do this, simply place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a close eye on them so that they don’t burn. 
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your dried fruit. If you’re using small fruit such as raisins or goji berries then you don’t need to do anything with them, but if you are using dried mango or larger fruit such as dried fig, then you will want to chop them into bite-size pieces. 
  4. If you are using seeds, then these too can often benefit from quick toasting, the easiest way to do this is to add them to a skillet or frying pan and to gently toss them around until they smell nice and fragrant. 
  5. Finally, once your nuts and seeds have cooled, add them to a bowl with your dried fruit and chocolate pieces if you are using any. Don’t forget that you can also season you mix with flavours such as cinnamon or even chilli if you like things spicy. 
  6. Store in an airtight container and eat while it’s fresh.

 

A savoury walnut crust 

A walnut crust is a perfect way to elevate your meat dishes, adding a delicious crunchy texture, nutty flavour and of course all of the nutritional benefits of walnuts. Here’s how to make one. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100g of shelled walnuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Start by finely chopping your walnuts until they resemble the texture that you would like your crumb to be. Don’t leave them too big, otherwise, they will fall off during cooking, but having them too fine can take away from their texture. 
  2. Next, simply add your chopped walnuts, spices and olive oil into a bowl and combine to form a crumb/paste. 
  3. Lastly, spread this on top of your meat (pork works really well) and either bake in the oven or fry carefully in a pan until golden. 

 

These are just three quick walnut recipes that you can try, though many more are just a Google search away, which one would you like to try first? Find out everything you need to know about walnuts here.

 

 

 

November 20, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Walnuts- How To Store Them

If you’ve ever bitten into a rancid nut, then you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience and often means that the whole batch has sadly become stale and will need to be thrown out. Walnuts, in particular, have gotten themselves a bit of a bad reputation as a nut that goes bad very quickly, and this is due to their nutritional composition. So why do walnuts go stale more quickly than other nuts? And how can you store them to make them last longer? Read on to find out more. But if you've only started eating walnuts recently you might find our article on Everything You Need To Know About Walnuts a little more useful.

Why do walnuts go rancid so quickly?

To understand why walnuts go rancid so quickly, we first need to know a little more about the process of rancidification itself. Rancidification happens when fats and oils are exposed to air, light, moisture or bacteria, causing them to oxidize and to change at a molecular level. When oxidation occurs, fatty acids and oils, like those found in nuts, begin to change into short-chain aldehydes and ketones, which taste unpleasant and smell bad.  

 

The reason why walnuts go rancid so quickly is that they contain a very high level of fatty acids, meaning that they are more susceptible to oxidation when stored incorrectly. Other nuts that go rancid very quickly include pistachios and pine nuts, which also have a very high-fat content. The good news is that the oxidation process can be slowed down by storing nuts correctly. 

 

Before worrying about storing walnuts make sure you are buying fresh, good quality walnuts so your chances of a rancid walnut are slim to none! Check out our blog post on How To Make Sure Your Getting Fresh Quality Walnuts

 

How to store walnuts to stop them going rancid

The key to stopping walnuts from going rancid is to protect them from the key factors that cause oxidation, which include moisture, light, air and bacteria. Walnut shells naturally protect walnuts from some of these factors, increasing their shelf life, but shelled walnuts have no natural defence. 

 

To improve the shelf life of your walnuts, always store them in a clean airtight container, this will prevent moisture and air from getting to them and will also stop unwanted odours from tarnishing their flavour. To protect them from sunlight, store them in a dark place or in a dark-tinted container.  Another common enemy of walnuts is temperature, and so to extend the shelf life of your nuts even further, you may also want to consider storing them in the fridge or even the freezer. When stored correctly in the pantry walnuts can last for up to 4 weeks, this can be extended to 12 months in the fridge and up to 24 months in the freezer. 

 

How to tell if your walnuts have gone rancid?

Because the oxidation of nuts changes them at a molecular level, it is relatively easy to tell when they have gone bad. Firstly, look at them closely, have they changed in colour? Is there any mould growing on them? Then give them a sniff, rancid nuts often smell somewhat alcoholic and can also smell musty if they have begun to go mouldy. And finally, don’t be afraid to give one a taste, eating a rancid nut in small quantities is not harmful, but they will taste foul and you’ll know immediately if they have gone off. 

 

If you’ve ever bitten into a rancid nut, then you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience and often means that the whole batch has sadly become stale and will need to be thrown out. Walnuts, in particular, have gotten themselves a bit of a bad reputation as a nut that goes bad very quickly, and this is due to their nutritional composition. So why do walnuts go stale more quickly than other nuts? And how can you store them to make them last longer? Read on to find out more. 

 

Why do walnuts go rancid so quickly?

To understand why walnuts go rancid so quickly, we first need to know a little more about the process of rancidification itself. Rancidification happens when fats and oils are exposed to air, light, moisture or bacteria, causing them to oxidize and to change at a molecular level. When oxidation occurs, fatty acids and oils, like those found in nuts, begin to change into short-chain aldehydes and ketones, which taste unpleasant and smell bad.  

 

The reason why walnuts go rancid so quickly is that they contain a very high level of fatty acids, meaning that they are more susceptible to oxidation when stored incorrectly. Other nuts that go rancid very quickly include pistachios and pine nuts, which also have a very high-fat content. The good news is that the oxidation process can be slowed down by storing nuts correctly. 

 

How to store walnuts to stop them going rancid

The key to stopping walnuts from going rancid is to protect them from the key factors that cause oxidation, which include moisture, light, air and bacteria. Walnut shells naturally protect walnuts from some of these factors, increasing their shelf life, but shelled walnuts have no natural defence. 

 

To improve the shelf life of your walnuts, always store them in a clean airtight container, this will prevent moisture and air from getting to them and will also stop unwanted odours from tarnishing their flavour. To protect them from sunlight, store them in a dark place or in a dark-tinted container.  Another common enemy of walnuts is temperature, and so to extend the shelf life of your nuts even further, you may also want to consider storing them in the fridge or even the freezer. When stored correctly in the pantry walnuts can last for up to 4 weeks, this can be extended to 12 months in the fridge and up to 24 months in the freezer. 

How to tell if your walnuts have gone rancid?

Because the oxidation of nuts changes them at a molecular level, it is relatively easy to tell when they have gone bad. Firstly, look at them closely, have they changed in colour? Is there any mould growing on them? Then give them a sniff, rancid nuts often smell somewhat alcoholic and can also smell musty if they have begun to go mouldy. And finally, don’t be afraid to give one a taste, eating a rancid nut in small quantities is not harmful, but they will taste foul and you’ll know immediately if they have gone off. 

 

Got walnuts that you need to use up? Check out 3 Quick Recipes With Walnuts

 

 

November 19, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts