Culinary Inspiration

Plant-forward eating can be for everyone, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or omnivore — it’s not about extremes at all. The plant-forward approach celebrates fruits, vegetables and whole grains with protein-rich beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Plant-forward eating is about improving all diets not by denying yourself what you love, but by helping you find ways to eat more plants. And by adding California walnuts to the mix (walnuts are a plant!), you have the freedom to explore plenty of unique plant-forward options. Here are nice simple ideas to get you started.


1. Breakfast: Add Veggies to Your Morning Smoothies

This Matcha Avocado Walnut Smoothie is such an appetizing green color and the flavor has notes of mint and green tea in a creamy smooth avocado and banana base. It’s subtly sweet, filling and packed with hearty California walnuts. Throw in a handful of spinach to make it extra green.

2. Morning Workout: Try These Delicious Energy Balls

Whether warming up or cooling down, these Walnut and Fruit Energy Bites will get and keep you going. Between the flaxseed, honeyed crispy rice cereal base, the sweet accents of coconut, dates and cranberries, this recipe makes for a wonderful and welcome tasty treat after your hard work. And with just a few toasted walnuts, you get a mild and pleasant hint of the earthy goodness that tops off this plant-forward snack that tastes like a treat!

3. Morning Pick-Me-Up: Use a Walnut Cream for a Dairy-Free Alternative

If you’ve been looking for some new plant-forward inspiration with your morning cup of joe, look no further than this nondairy walnut creamer. Subtly sweet with nutty flavors, this walnut “milk” feels indulgent and luxurious, which is mostly due to the ALA omega-3 content of walnuts (2.5g/oz).


4. Lunch: Use Walnut Meat in Tacos

Recognized as the top ingredient for plant-based meat alternatives in 2021, walnuts, when combined with whole ingredients like legumes, vegetables and spices, make a delicious substitute for meat. If you don’t believe us, try this recipe for Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos with Pickled Vegetables. The veggies are easy to pickle and create the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savory. With walnuts, beans and Mexican spices to make up the “chorizo,” your family will have a hard time telling the difference between your plant-forward tacos and the classic ones. The walnut meat is easy to brown in a skillet but easier to toss into a taco with cilantro and lime.

5. 3 p.m. Energy Boost: Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

This Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Hummus is deceptively simple. Prep your ingredients, mix them in the food processor, and start dipping. Power up the plants by pairing this hummus with your favorite chopped vegetables, or use pita chips for something heartier. This flavorful dip will bring the heat!

6. Dinner: Make Veggies the Main Ingredient

Try this Naan Bread Pizza for dinner one night. Your kids will love your new homemade dish, full of flavor and covered in colors. Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced zucchini, caramelized onions and more find a place on the naan flatbread, and with just a few sprinkles of California walnuts, the pizza packs a powerful punch without missing a beat. Plus, it’s an easy way to eat more plants and a fun dish to make together!

7. Dessert: Decadent Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Who says you can’t have plants for dessert? This Walnut, Chocolate, and Avocado Mousse packs in nutrient-dense ingredients like avocados and walnuts that are sweetened with honey and vanilla. This dairy-free delight is creamy and rich and will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

8. Evening Snacking: For Munchies while Streaming Shows

Cozy up and enjoy these Fiery Hot Cheddar Walnuts. Keep a cool drink close by but savor the cayenne and red chili pepper. With the dusting of white cheddar popcorn seasoning over toasty California walnuts, your snack bowl will be empty before your first show is over.

9. Bedtime: Sink into Sleep

For ages, we’ve soothed ourselves into rest with milk. This time, try calming Lavender-Infused Walnut Milk for your plant-forward alternative. Full of honey and vanilla, it’s creamy, dreamy and easy to make, all the while easing your senses into rest after a long day.

Remember, walnuts are a plant! And in your quest to eat more of them, they can make a simple and delicious addition to just about any meal or snack.

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