Years after our nanis and dadis have been promoting the health benefits of walnuts, we’re finally beginning to jump on to the walnut bandwagon. We know of its amazing health benefits and how it is a superfood in its truest sense. And after experiencing the process from tree to plate myself, I now know that the care that is taken to produce a pack of fresh walnuts only adds to the overall goodness of this wonder-nut.

I was part of the recently concluded California Walnut Harvest tour, 2018. There I witnessed how the amazing superfood starts out on a tree and ends up becoming one of the healthiest nuts there is. Here is a glimpse into walnut harvesting in California. This extensive process is what makes these nuts the best in the world.

The Harvest and processing

Walnuts start out as these green hulls on trees.

Once the hulls have dried enough, they begin to split and that’s when the grower knows it’s ready for harvest.

Heavy claw-like machines like farming vehicles are used to shake them out of the trees. These are then picked up by mechanical harvesters.

The walnuts are now collected and ready to go on their journey from package to plate.

Once they go through extensive processing, the walnuts — whether inshell or shelled, are carefully packed based on size, colour gradation, quality and so on. And they’re ready to go to the consumer in whatever form they desire.

According to Senior Marketing Director California Walnut Commission, Pamela Graviet, “California Walnuts are processed and packaged with utmost care. The facility complies to the highest of standards in terms of health and hygiene. A lot of work is put into ensuring what reaches you is the healthiest and best product possible.”

And that is exactly why they’re hailed as one of the healthiest nuts in the world which one must consume on a daily basis. Not only in its kernel form, one can incorporate it in their daily lives in many other ways as it is also a versatile nut that can be transformed in several ways. Here are just a few ways one can consume walnuts. All of these were tried and tested at the walnut harvest tour.

1. Grind them to a fine consistency and use as (gluten-free) walnut flour.

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2. Toast with honey or brown sugar and snack on candied walnuts.

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3. Grind (and toast if desired) into a puree, mix with light cooking oil and honey and consume as walnut butter.

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4. Toss it onto salads to give it an even healthier kick.

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5. Course grind and sprinkle onto regular food.

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6. Add them to brownies, pancakes, cakes, and just about any baked goodie you’re craving.

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7. Use it as a crust on meat dishes of your choice.

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8. Mix with fruit and yoghurt for a super healthy breakfast option.

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9. Crush and add to your rice dish to give it a healthy boost.

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10. Keep it at your workspace and munch as and when you wish to.

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These are just a few of the several ways in which walnuts can be made a part of your healthy lifestyle.

What starts out as a basic little tree nut can become so many delicious things. Each one as healthy as the other.