Culinary Inspiration

February is famous for its emphasis on everything hearts. So this month, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month! It’s the perfect time to commit to a healthier lifestyle and make small changes to benefit your heart for a lifetime.

California walnuts are a heart-healthy1 food, certified through the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check program. The American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark provides a quick and reliable way to identify heart-healthy1 foods that meet the program’s nutritional standards.

Eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet may decrease your risk of heart disease by helping maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, two of the major risk factors for heart disease.2 Walnuts are also a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5 grams per ounce).

Incorporating heart-healthy walnuts into your diet is easy! Here are a few delicious and simple Heart-Check certified recipes to get you started:

Walnut Waldorf Salad

Whip Up a Waldorf

This Refreshing Waldorf Salad is made with fresh, crisp apples and crunchy walnuts. A dash of lemon juice adds a zesty tang to the dish while the honey offsets the tartness of the yogurt. It’s delightfully refreshing and easy to assemble, and makes a wonderful side dish for any meal.
Walnut Quinoa Pears Butternut Squash Bowl

Toss Together a Bowl

Quick, hearty, and packed with nutrients, food bowls are extremely popular with folks looking for simple ways to help keep their heart healthy1. Toss together our Butternut Squash, Quinoa, Pear and Walnut Bowl, a delicious grain-based bowl layered with quinoa, roasted butternut squash, pear slices, feta and rosemary walnuts. The sweet pears are nicely complemented by feta cheese chunks and the hearty flavor of freshly toasted rosemary walnuts.
Avocado Walnut Toast

Creamy, mashed avocado on crusty, toasted bread is all the rage right now, making for an effortless heart-healthy1 breakfast or snack. Like walnuts, avocados are also a superfood containing good fats to help decrease the risk of heart disease. This tasty Avocado, Arugula, Tomato, and Walnut Toast recipe combines crunchy walnuts with the slightly tart taste of baby arugula, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic glaze for a flavor combo that’ll blow your mind and your tastebuds.

Simple culinary substitutions can make a positive impact when it comes to heart health. Check out more yummy heart-healthy1 recipes here!

1Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One ounce of walnuts provides 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3.

2Kris-Etherton P. Walnuts decrease risk of cardiovascular disease: a summary of efficacy and biologic mechanisms. J Nutr. 2014; 10: 39:2S-8S.

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