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'Tis the Season to Celebrate the Wonder of Walnuts!

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Interesting fact: if you crack a walnut in half and look at the inside, it will look like the human brain. You will see both halves of the nut, just as you have two lobes to your brain. This is one of the "logical reasons" why the walnut in considered a brain food.

So, why are walnuts considered one of nature's wonder foods? Well... because they are a brain food. From a scientific standpoint, your brain is over half structural fat and it needs this to operate. Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are, structural fat. Yes, walnuts are literally brain food! Of course walnuts are also high in antioxidants and those are good for your heart. So, for a healthy brain and heart, nosh on some walnuts!

Walnuts are very popular in baked goods and throughout Europe they are a popular addition to many entree's. For a snack, a handful of walnuts is quite healthy and can actually decrease your appetite, thus leading to weight loss and, if you are depressed or stressed out, they can bring you out of your funk.

One of my favorite ways to use walnuts in a dish which is an incredible carrot salad. Not only is this a tasty and refreshing salad, it also is incredibly healthy and nutritious.

As with any salad dish, there really isn't specific amounts for the ingredients. In the case of this salad, if you want more fresh cherries, then add them. Prefer more crunchy walnuts, then load this baby up.

This salad was created when I was living in Chico, California and with Chico being almost the center of the breadbasket of the world (Butte county and the surrounding counties are the agricultural center of the world), I was able to use all freshly picked ingredients. This salad will simply send your taste buds into a delicious delirium.

When I make this salad for the holidays, I like to top it with even more natural goodness by topping it with some glazed pecans (see the picture).

Ingredients needed to make Carrot Supreme:

  • Freshly shredded or grated carrots
  • Cherries, pitted and quartered
  • Dates, pitted and julienned (cut into thin strips)
  • Walnut halves (at the restaurant we use the glazed ones)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh raw honey (if you want to add more sweetness)

Steps:

  1. Simply put everything into a large bowl and gently stir to combine. You want to do this gently to keep the cherries from bleeding into the salad. It is best when served slightly chilled but once you taste these flavors together, it might not make it to the refrigerator.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in its third printing and available worldwide, including the official website for Downton Abbey!

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