Food trends are constantly evolving and one of the most exciting trends for 2024 is focused on putting the “plant” back in “plant-based”.1
One easy way to include more plant-based foods in the diet is considering walnuts as a partial replacement for meat in a meal or snack for added nutrition benefits. Walnuts are a versatile, nutritious, and delicious plant-based protein option that works well with a variety of global, sweet, or savory flavors and pairs well with other ingredients. Walnuts also have the ability to take on the texture and consistency of ground meat, allowing for seamless integration into a variety of recipes.
New Research Supports Plant-Based Food Swaps & Substitutions With Walnuts
In a recent modeling study published in Nutrients and funded by the California Walnut Commission, researchers examined the potential nutrient intake and diet quality benefits of replacing some meat in the diet with walnuts. Read about how replacing some meat with as little as just 1 – 1.5 oz of walnuts may improve overall diet quality and increase important nutrients like omega-3 ALA and fiber.2
A new meta-analysis published in BMC Medicine investigated the association between substituting animal-based foods with plant-based foods and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality. Learn about how a shift from animal-based to plant-based foods is beneficially associated with cardiometabolic health and all-cause mortality.3
Walnuts Are A Nutritious, Tasty & Versatile Plant-Based Ingredient
In just a handful (1 oz./serving), walnuts provide 4g of plant-based protein, 2g fiber, a good source of magnesium (45mg), and an excellent source of the essential plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5 g/oz.).4 Incorporating walnuts into the diet on their own or as a partial meat replacement is a simple and delicious way to help support well-being.
Find creative ways to incorporate plants into your meals and snacks by trying these unique and tasty recipes that take well-loved classic dishes and give them a walnut-centric spin:
For A Fresh Twist On ‘Meatless Mondays,’ Check Out These Meatless Meatball Recipes:
- California Walnut Meatless Meatballs: Inspired by classic Italian flavors, these pair well with your favorite pasta.
- Greek Walnut Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce: These delicious Greek-inspired walnut meatballs are so versatile and can be served as an appetizer or main dish.
Embrace Plants On Taco Tuesdays:
- Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos with Pickled Vegetables: A walnut chorizo “meat” is the base for these spicy tacos. Topped with pickled jalapeno peppers and radishes and finished with a squeeze of lime, these are a fresh take on traditional meat tacos. For a creamy addition, place a layer of mashed avocado onto the tortillas before filling with chorizo and vegetables.
- California Walnut Tacos: A meal for 4 comes together in less than 20 minutes with this easy meatless taco recipe. The taco “meat” is made with California walnuts, diced onion and a taco seasoning packet. Top with classic taco toppings for a no-fuss dinner the whole family can enjoy.
Get Ready For Spring & Summertime Cooking With These Plant-based Burgers:
- Walnut Lentil Veggie Burgers: Hearty and delicious, serve these for dinner when you’re on a time crunch or whip them up the next time you fire up your grill.
- California Walnut Omega Burgers: These burgers are packed with flavor, and the California walnuts add a nice nutty note with a boost of omega-3’s in this meat-free patty.
For additional details on the latest research and how to incorporate walnuts to elevate your diet and well-being, check out this new blog post on walnuts.org!
Whole Foods Market Forecasts Top 10 Food Trends for 2024. Whole Food Market Newsroom. Published October 17, 2023. Accessed November 6, 2023. https://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/whole-foods-market-forecasts-top-10-food-trends-for-2024/
Spence LA, Henschel B, Li R, Tekwe CD, Thiagarajah K. A Dietary Model of Partial Meat Replacement with Walnuts Demonstrates Changes in the Nutrient Profile and Quality of the United States Population’s Diet. Nutrients. 2023; 15(21):4518. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15214518
Neuenschwander M, Ballon A, Weber KS, et al. Substituting animal-based foods with plant-based foods changes the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC Med. 2023;21(1):404. doi:10.1186/s12916-023-03108-9
S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. fdc.nal.usda.gov.