Balanced Lifestyle

Story time! Walnuts have been one of my favorite snacks for a long time. Honestly, my go-to snack in college was a handful of nuts. At the time, I couldn’t cook in my dorm, but I would buy bags of nuts to snack on. Yes, even late at night when I got home! For me, those were the most pivotal years for forming healthy habits. It’s when I started to fall in love with wellness and when I became aware of what foods felt good in my body.

I’ve really fallen in love with the simplicity and nutrient-dense value of California walnuts, especially. They’re truly a food that just fits into my active lifestyle so easily. I actually went to a walnut orchard in California last September, and there is just nothing as fresh or as pure as their taste.

Just like nuts were my go-to, on-the-go snack in college, they are now, too. California walnuts are my favorite snack to bring with me on-the-go! They’re so convenient to just throw in a mason jar or stasher (reusable) bag! I also LOVE them as a form of fuel before a workout – protein, baby! Walnuts have 4 grams of plant-based protein per ounce, which is perfect for my plant-based diet. Due to my allergies, I eat both gluten-free and dairy-free, and walnuts have added a ton of value to my diet. But more on the benefits later.

California walnuts are so good on their own, but I’ve also been a huge fan of the added flavor and texture they create in dishes like salads, oats, or even mixed into a bowl of fruit, like berries. In this blog, I want to first break down the benefits of California walnuts, and then share my favorite ways to incorporate them into your daily routine, as simply as I have with mine!

Bunundone - Self Care Walnuts

Benefits:

  • Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 ALA (2.5g/oz).
  • Walnuts offer a variety of important nutrients, including good fats, making them an ideal ingredient for plant-based meals.
  • Studies suggest that walnuts may play a role in gut health, including increasing the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • The Heart-Check mark easily identifies foods, such as walnuts, that meet the nutritional standards set by the American Heart Association and provides consumers a quick and reliable way to identify heart-healthy foods.
  • Alongside a healthy diet, walnuts may reduce the risk of some cancers and may also reduce inflammation.

Ideas for Easy and Nutritious Meals/Snacks:

  • Since a single serving of walnuts is 1 ounce (about a handful), a little goes a long way! I love bringing them wherever I go in a mason jar that I keep in my bag. I feel so much better when I eat these than a bar!
  • On top of my oats or “chunky monkey oats,” as I like to call them! I mixed 1/2 cup of steel-cut, gluten-free oats in dairy-free milk, then mixed in a mashed banana, cinnamon, honey, and topped it with walnuts. The crunch is EVERYTHING, and adding good fats and protein to my breakfast really helps give me a boost for the day. I love enjoying my slow mornings with my journaling ritual and enjoying this breakfast.
  • Mixed into fruit. It’s my own version of a trail mix, if you will. Since it’s summer, I am ALL about the fresh, seasonal produce, but I often feel like fruit isn’t filling enough on its own. So I make a little fruit salad and top it with walnuts – the PERFECT dish for sharing or enjoying as a snack.
  • Salads are similar to fruit in that they normally lack some texture. Recently, I’ve been opting for California Walnuts as my source of good fats instead of avocado, for example. If you follow me on Instagram, you know my lunch method is basically a series of mixing and matching all of the veggies, greens and proteins I have in my fridge. I LOVE adding walnuts to salads for the ultimate crunch in each bite, and I find that it really rounds out any acid flavor from dressing, too!

While I know we’ve been stuck at home, things are opening back up again, and I know my “hanger” is going to come out to play when I’m out and about. I’m planning on taking the jar of California Walnuts with me to satisfy my hunger and give me the nutrition and energy to keep going! I LOVE how they taste and how convenient they are to snack on, as well as include in any of your meals. I hope this gave you some inspiration on mixing up from your usual and seeing how nutty you can get.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by California Walnuts. However, all opinions are my own.

 

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