WALNUTS AND WALNUT OIL
It is a real cornucopia.
The list of minerals and vitamins supplied by walnuts may be long, but one can remember:- potassium, iron (combats tiredness), zinc, copper, phosphorus (for memory), magnesium (anti-stress), calcium and the vitamins B9 (folic acid), B1, B2, E (elixir of youth), A. They also contain 15.23% of high quality protein and fibre.
The exceptional concentration of these substances in this nut makes it a very good nutritional complement to our modern diet, often deficient in them.
But the primary interest in walnuts, is its richness in
the so called "essential" fatty acids. They're called that,
because they are indispensible, from the earliest age, to
the development of the brain and the retina. The oil
consists primarily of poly and mono unsaturated fats and in
particular linoleic and alpha linoleic acids, of which it
contains 72%, made up of
60% linoleic acid = AGE omega 6(olive oil has 21%)
12 % alpha linoleic acid (against 1.5% for olive oil)
Unsaturated fatty acids help the cardiovascular system to function properly
5 walnuts a day supply our whole daily requirements of these two acids.
Mono unsaturated fatty acids, which also work towards a reduction in cholesterol are well represented (16%-18%) while the atheroghenic and thrombogenic fatty acids only total 10%. Cholesterol itself is completely absent, replaced by phytosterols.
All this combines to make walnuts and their oil valuable foodstuff for people suffering from high cholesterol.
As soon as walnuts have been gathered, whether by hand or mechanically, they are dried.
Then comes shelling, often carried out in the evening as in the olden days. This demands a lot of patience, because it has to be done by hand - you try to recover the kernels intact whenever possible.
In fact, the kernels are then graded by colour and shape. They will subsequently be used in pastrymaking, cheeses, charcuterie and in jams.
Broken and lower quality kernels are used to make oil. They are crushed and stoneground to make a paste which, heated or not depending upon the region, is then pressed to extract the oil. Its colour is blonde to a yellowish brown and is powerfully scented with a sweet and agreeable character.
It can be used for salad dressings, and for cooking. It is wonderful as a seasoning for cooked dishes, and helps to make them digestible. It is particularly recommended drizzled gently over steamed vegetables and on some fishes.
It is one of the best table oils, but it should be avoided for high temperature use. It has a high calorific content (900 cals/100gms) and is dietetically very valuable thanks to its vitamins and - as we have said - to the quality of its cholesterol reducing fatty acids.
5 kilos of walnuts give 2 kilos of kernels and one litre of oil.
In conclusion, one can say therefore, that walnuts and their oil have an essential role to play in the prevention and as an aid in the cure of what can be called "the illnesses of civilisation", atheroma, stress, premature senility etc..
So ..... Think walnuts!
And what's more, I offer a superior quality product, with my walnuts produced organically!