Now more than ever consumers are more outgoing and adventurous when it comes to trying new foods and healthy eating. Here are the latest trends in walnut usage.

Plant-Based Eating

Plant-based eating is continuing to explode and won’t be going away anytime soon. But before you start changing your menu,
remember, plant-based eating doesn’t have to be vegetarian or vegan. Also referred to as “veg-centric”, the point is less meat, rather than entirely meatless. Part of the draw is that plant-based eating is customizable. Walnuts add texture and flavor as a component of a plant-based protein replacement for meat. Adding a menu item that appeals to flexitarians is increasingly important as the number of people shifting to more plant-based eating continues to grow.

Plant Based Spread Vegan

But where to begin?

Start by rethinking your produce and meat, especially when it comes to portion size. Treat meat and poultry as the side, instead of the main feature. Make vegetables, beans, and grains the entrée. When you are feeling ready for substitution, ingredients like mushrooms and walnuts are excellent options to replace meat. Their textures and savory taste are excellent options to either add to meat or replace entirely.

Whether it’s just for Meatless Monday specials or recurring menu items, there are plenty of ways to highlight often overlooked produce. Make sure to visit our recipe section for some simple and delicious plant-based inspiration

Mediterranean Diet

Consumers are becoming more familiar with ingredients and their nutritional benefits, including the benefits of good fats. This is, in part, why the Mediterranean Diet was named the 2019 Diet of the Year.

There appears to be a growing preference for good fats over processed low calorie foods. Growing knowledge of the Mediterranean Diet (with ingredients like olive oil, fish, and walnuts), has attracted consumer attention and created a shift in their understanding of nutrition. The increase in educational marketing around good-fat foods, like California walnuts, will continue to affect consumer demand and consequently your menu. But what does that mean for you?

The good news?

Meeting consumer demand will be almost effortless as California walnuts and other good fats are easy to incorporate into new dishes. Stick with ingredients familiar to your diners and already on hand. For example, walnuts and olive oil combine for a winning vinaigrette, easy to prep in advance. For an entrée, this Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon is another quick dish filled with Omega-3s. Or replace cream as a sauce thickener with ground walnuts.

10 ways to follow mediterranean diet
Walnut Leaf Open Beauty Shot

Explore the Latest Trends

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