Celebrate a happy heart this World Heart Day with these deliciously healthy recipes by California walnuts

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Celebrate a happy heart this World Heart Day with these deliciously healthy recipes by California walnuts

A healthy heart is a happy heart, wouldn’t you agree? After all, it’s only when one is absolutely healthy that one is able to enjoy the finer things in life and truly be happy and at ease. This World Heart Day, let us all take a moment to appreciate and fully understand the importance of heart health and what we can each do to keep our hearts healthy.

Apart from exercising and going in for regular heart check-ups, what you can also do is whip up a few dishes made with ingredients that support heart health and are also tasty. This is where walnuts steps in. Walnuts are the only tree nut with an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5g/28g), an essential fatty acid that may play a role in heart health. They also provide you with protein (4g/28g) and have fiber (2g/28g), an important nutrient for heart health.

Eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet may decrease your risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death globally. They help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure, two of the major risk factors for heart disease. So, including a handful of walnuts in your diet, seems like an excellent idea. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick list of interesting recipes by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai that you can create using California walnuts to support and encourage the concept of heart health this World Heart Day.

Maple Walnut Energy Balls
Ingredients
2 cups walnuts, plus 1/4 cup for coating
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 7 dates)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation
1. Add 2 cups walnuts, oats, dates, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt to a food processor. Blend until smooth and the dough forms together into cohesive balls, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Finely dice the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and add to a plate.
3. Form the dough into 16 balls and roll each ball in the diced walnuts to coat. Store the energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
Sweet Potato Avocado Toasts with Walnuts
Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes
2 avocados, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, diced
1-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon flaky salt

Preparation
1. Slice a small plank off one side of each sweet potato lengthwise. This will act as a base, so you can cut the sweet potato into toast slices easily. Prop the sweet potato on the flat side you created and slice each potato into planks about 1/4 inch thick.
2. For toaster preparation, pop the sweet potato planks in the toaster and toast until tender. This may take a few times, depending on your toaster.
3. For oven preparation, preheat your oven to 180°C. Lay the sweet potato planks on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Roast for 6-7 minutes per side, until they are easily pierced with a fork.
4. When they’re done toasting, lay the sweet potato toasts on plates and top with sliced avocado. Mash the avocado gently with a fork. Sprinkle with diced walnuts, red pepper flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Top with flaky salt.
Roasted Vegetables with Walnuts and Herbs
Ingredients
1/2 red bell pepper, small, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 orange bell pepper, small, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 red onion, medium, cut into 1-inch cubes, separated
120g mushrooms, baby, halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup sugar snap peas
1 zucchini, small, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 summer squash, yellow, small, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons basil, fresh, snipped
1/2 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt. Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet, making sure not to crowd vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes.
2. Add snap peas, zucchini, yellow squash, and garlic and stir lightly. Top with walnuts and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more or until all vegetables are crisp-tender and walnuts are toasted.
3. Drizzle with balsamic and toss well. Sprinkle with basil.

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