7 Amazing Recipes Using Heart-Healthy Nuts
Nuts are nutritious, fiber-packed, and flavorful. According to Everyday Health, tree nuts in particular have been linked to lower cholesterol, better heart health, weight maintenance, and lower cancer risk. If that’s not an impetus to stock up on your almonds, cashews, and walnuts, we don’t know what is. Nuts serve as a great snack, and a crunchy addition to both sweet and savory dishes, and because nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats, they elevate the nutritional profile of any meal they’re complementing.
We’re rounding up seven sweet and savory dishes that particularly shine with the addition of nuts. Nuts are part of a balanced diet, and after you try these delicious meal ideas, you’ll have no problem incorporating them into your eating repertoire.
1. Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Pizza
Say cheese. Our first recipe — featured on Food Network — for Caramelized, Onion, Walnut and Goat Cheese Pizza proves that nuts can add a delicious nutritional kick to any favorite cheat meal. Because while this pizza is made with a carby beer crust and a goat cheese topping, it’s also studded with ½ cup of walnuts that are rich in antioxidants and a good source of omega-3s. The Caramelized Onion, Walnut and Goat Cheese Pizza is therefore both delicious and nutritious, and we have the underrated walnuts to thank for that.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds (6 large) onions, very thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup finely chopped (not ground) walnuts
- 3 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can or bottle beer
- Oil for greasing
- 1 ½ cups crumbled soft goat cheese
See recipe directions at The Food Network.
2. Apple and Walnut Salad
For a lighter bite, try your hand at this this Apple and Walnut Salad from Taste of Home. Not only will you enjoy a fresh burst of flavor with every bite, you’ll also get a burst of vitamins and nutrients. Enjoy this salad as a side dish or light main meal and enjoy the crunchy combo of apples, walnuts, red onion, and gorgonzola cheese. Taste of Home also has a dressing recipe that coats the salad perfectly.
- 5 cups torn romaine
- 5 cups torn red leaf lettuce
- 1 large red apple, chopped
- 1 large green apple, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup apple cider or juice
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup walnut oil or canola oil
See recipe directions at Taste of Home.
3. West African Peanut Soup
Have you ever heard of Peanut Soup? It’s West African-inspired and known for its interesting combination of ingredients that include peanut butter, tomato paste, and collard greens. That might not sound like the most appetizing cocktail of flavors but you’ll just have to trust us on this one. Cookie and Kate has a great recipe for West African Peanut Soup that is bursting with flavor and nutrients. The soup takes just 45 minutes to make and serves 4. It’s also vegetarian so it is one that everyone can enjoy.
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
- ¾ cup unsalted peanut butter
- ½ cup tomato paste
- Hot sauce, like sriracha
- ¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
See recipe directions at Cookie & Kate.
4. Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust
Moving to the sweeter side of things, we come to this Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust from Eating Well. Nuts perform great in crusts too. All you need to do to master a walnut crust is crush your nuts in a food processor, combine them with graham cracker crumbs, butter, oil, and salt, and then let your crust bake and set. A walnut crust is the perfect base for this Blueberry Tart recipe. Indulge in dessert and get your fiber and healthy fats, too.
- ½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
- Pinch of salt
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
See recipe directions at Eating Well.
5. Banana Nut Smoothie
If you’d rather slurp your nutrients than chew them, treat yourself to this refreshing Banana Nut Smoothie from The Realistic Nutritionist. It comes together in under 5 minutes and is a flavorful blend of bananas, oats, Greek yogurt, and milk. The crushed walnut topping also fortifies the smoothie with fiber and protein that will power you through the day, plus it adds a fun crunch and texture for your snack.
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons oats (I used quick-cooking)
- 1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill almond meal
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt
- Dash of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
See recipe directions at The Realistic Nutritionist.
6. Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans
Back to the savory recipes, we come to this side dish from Epicurious. On their own, green beans are delicious and nutrient-rich, but when you add pecans and shallots to the mix, the dish’s nutrition and taste profile excels to another level. All of a sudden, consumers are asking for seconds of the side dish rather than the main meal, and thanks to this recipe serving 6 to 8, everyone can get more than their fill of these Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans.
- ½ cup pecan halves and pieces
- 2½ pounds green beans, trimmed
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
See recipe directions at Epicurious.
7. Nutty Granola Bars
Nuts also play a starring role in this snack that should find its way into everyone’s lunch bag. Snack the healthy way via these hearty Granola Bars from Oh She Glows. They’re packed full of nuts, seeds, dried cherries, and rolled oats. Thanks to that impressive lineup of ingredients, these homemade Granola Bars are full of fiber and will keep you satiated for hours. Step away from storebought bars and make your own. It’s easier on the waistline and the wallet.
- 1.5 cups mashed ripe banana
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½-¾ cup dried cherries, chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup pepita seeds
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt, or to taste
See recipe directions at Oh She Glows.