Crack open that corrugated shell and you will find the humble walnut, an oddly shaped, very versatile nut. It is one of the most reasonably priced and popular nuts around. All nuts supply generous amounts of the essential fatty acids, the walnut is no exception. Many varieties of nuts, including the walnut, are lower in saturated fats (the baddies!) than eggs, fish or tofu. Walnuts contain unsaturated fats (mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated), and alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid, which provides the body with omega 3. ALA is the beneficial fatty acid found in flax seeds and to a lesser degree in pumpkin seeds.
Walnuts also supply a good average of all the main minerals, vitamin A, the B group vitamins and vitamin C. The protein content of a walnut is between 15-20 percent, and all the essential amino acids are represented. So the humble walnut is not really so humble at all!
Walnuts provide numerous nutritional benefits and when consumed in moderation play a valuable part in a well balanced diet.
You will obtain maximum benefits from nuts that have been correctly stored and freshly shelled. Our walnuts come to us from 'A Cracker of A Nut' in West Melton, Christchurch, and are cracked to order. They also supply us with
walnut oil, versatile walnut paste - which is delicious stirred through pasta, spread on toast as an alternative to butter, or used as a vegetarian pate. Their newest development is walnut flour, which gained them a finalist position in the
Cuisine/Matua Valley Awards for Innovation and Excellence. The walnut flour is an exciting gluten free alternative, produced by grinding and then sieving the residue (walnut pressed cake) left over after the oil is pressed out.
The fresh walnuts used are not toasted and the oil is cold pressed (under 32 C) ensuring that the nutrient status of the walnut flour is not broken down.
The walnut flour contains 39% protein, however the essential fatty acids are lost in the process, remaining in the oil. Walnut flour is best stored in an airtight container and will remain stable for up to 4 months in cool conditions. You can keep it in the refrigerator. Like other gluten free flours, the rising ability is somewhat absent, so it is most suited to 'flat' products, such as pancakes, pikelets, nutty crusts and pastries or as an ingredient in heavier style breads, it can be used on its own or in combination with other flours.
Use on its own in a recipe or combine with other gluten free flours to vary the flavour. This product can be used in a number of unique ways:
add a tablespoon of walnut flour to your porridge for a walnutty flavour, roll truffles in it for a nutty coating or use as a sprinkle on top of pasta meals.
Enjoy experimenting with this versatile new gluten-free product! Here are some recipes to inspire your imagination!!
Oat and Walnut Crunchies
3 C fine rolled oats or rice flakes
1 ½ C walnut flour
1 C rice malt or
¾ C honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 C mixed dried fruit
½ C walnuts
Mix the dry ingredients together, add olive oil, rice malt and mix again to a stiff paste. You may need to add some water if the mix is too dry.
Place dessertspoon sized blobs on a greased baking tray, press down with a fork and bake at 150 C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1 ½ C warm water
1 tsp sugar or honey
2 Tbsp milk powder
1 Tbsp oil
1 C walnut flour
2 ½ C white flour
1 C walnuts, chopped
If using a bread maker simply put all the ingredients except the walnut pieces, into the bucket and the machine on to a'mix dough' setting. When the dough is ready remove it from the bucket and knead in the chopped walnuts.
Shape into a large oval loaf and place on a baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes. Make two diagonal slices across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Brush with a beaten egg or milk and bake at 190C for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.
If not using a bread maker combine the yeast, sugar and water and leave 5 minutes to activate.
Put the flours, oil, milk powder in a separate bowl, pour in the activated yeast and knead well.
Leave it to rise and knead again for a further 20 minutes. Then knead in the walnut pieces and shape into the large oval loaf. Proceed as above.
Gluten Free Walnut Pikelets
1 C walnut flour
½ C potato or soy flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg or egg replacer
2 Tbsp honey or rice malt
¾ C milk
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, in another bowl beat the egg and honey until thick. Add with milk to dry ingredients. Mix until lump free.
Cook tablespoonfuls in a hot greased pan, turning over when bubbles start to burst on top of surface.
Short Walnut Pastry
1 ½ C barley flour or (1 C rice flour and ½ C arrowroot)
1 C walnut flour
6 Tbsp olive oil
water to mix
Mix dry ingredients together, add in the oil and mix till a breadcrumb texture has been achieved.
Add in enough water to form stiff dough. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes then use as needed.
Press into the baking dish rather than roll it out. Great for quiches, pies, slices and tarts.
Add 2 Tbsp of honey if you want a sweet taste.
What to do about all that plastic!??
We need your help to reduce the amount of plastic carrier bags lying around on the planet! At Piko we have been racking our brains to come up with a brilliant scheme that will involve our customers in our effort to change the endless cycleof plastic bag production and consumption. Our 'perfect' scenario would be that each customer brings their own fabric/jute bag, basket or backpack for transporting their groceries, only using our recycled plastic bags when necessary (for wet vegetables, greasy bottles etc). This often happens and we are thrilled to bits with those people that take this approach. While we need and appreciate a supply of recycled bags we are sometimes disheartened because people are still receiving so many from the supermarkets. If we sometimes appear reluctant to give out plastic bags it is not because we don't have enough, it's because we all feel so strongly against the negative effects that plastic has on our environment. What we are trying to encourage is that people take a fabric bag with them wherever they shop, not just at Piko. Look out for more information, and please give us your input, opinions and ideas on how we can handle this slippery dilemma!
What is new in stock
Oral Fresh Natural Toothpaste-sodium lauryl sulphate free $4.85
Organic skim milk powder 250g/$3.74
Phoenix vegetable juice 250ml $2.26
Organic soy lecithin powder-40% organic lecithin, 55% organic whey powder, 5% organic milk protein
Sunshine organic treats-gluten, sugar, wheat, dairy etc free
Organic pumpkin seeds from China $15.66/kg
Quinoa Flour 500g/$4.40
Amaranth Flour 500g/$6.84
Lentil Flour 500g/$2.22
Poorman's Orange Juice (Grapefruit) 750ml/$4.53
Fresh Sprouts in the fridge: alfalfa, spicy, bean, $2.50/$3.50
New Book on sale: 'Our Health At Risk' by Dr Janice-Ann Priest $22.22
And Organic Molasses is back on tap-$5.24/kg!