Walnuts are an under-appreciated nut, but with February being National Heart Health month, it’s time to show this nut some love. Walnuts are rich in plant based omega 3 fatty acids which can help decrease inflammation in the body; a marker for heart disease. Also research has shown that a diet rich in nuts, including walnuts, along with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and beans, can help maintain healthy cholesterol and help decrease blood pressure; two major risk factors for heart disease.
Some easy ways to incorporate walnuts to your diet include adding them to oatmeal, sprinkled over yogurt or cottage cheese, topped on salads, or try this homemade granola full of the hearty healthy nut
Easy Homemade Granola
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- 2Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
- ¼ cup raisins or dried, chopped apricots
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Combine first four ingredients, oats through nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir in oil, maple syrup and mix until combined. Place mixture on baking sheet and bake low and slow at 250 for 2 hours. Remove and allow granola to cool before adding raisins. Store in an airtight container.
Content submitted by: Janyce Gately MS, RD, LDN, CHC