These are fascinating little nuts! And it actually grows as a fruit! Did you know, the walnut fruit is actually considered a stone fruit (like a peach or apricot)?! The walnut fruit has a husk that you pull away to reveal the walnut as we know it - a wrinkled shell. Then when we crack that shell in half, there is the nut (AKA: the nutmeat!) that we consume. That's two layers of protection for this little guy!
It's a lot of work to get to this nut, but it's definitely worth it. According to nuttritiondata.com: Walnuts without shells are 4% water, 15% protein, 65% fat, and 14% carbohydrates, including 7% dietary fiber. In a 100 gram serving (1 cup of chopped nuts), walnuts provide a lot of energy and rich content (more than 19% of the Daily Value) of several dietary minerals, particularly manganese at 163% DV, copper, and B vitamins. More benefits are listed below. (Not too shabby!)
OK, totally obvious, I know, but the beauty of walnuts is that they can be incorporated into any meal! Add them to oatmeal, pancakes, cereal and/or yogurt for breakfast. Add them to a salad at lunch. Have them alone as a snack. You can grind them up and incorporate them into a crumb covering or batter for fish or chicken. You can even add them into an ice cream dessert or bake them into whatever carb-tactic baked good you are concocting in your kitchen. This nut is amazingly adaptable and oh, so good for you. Do try to add it into your and your family's diet! And share below how you do that! We're always ready for tips!
Well, the shells, not so much the nuts! The Crafty Crow has a nice collection of quick, easy and imaginative ways to decorate walnut shells and spark a conversation about how great they are to eat (and play with!)