Nuts with Everything

So as I mentioned earlier, I’m at the time of life when pretty much everything that goes wrong can be blamed on the menopause.* So far it’s mostly been niggly little things so I haven’t felt the need to seek medical help, although I know a lot of people who swear by HRT as transformative when they’ve really been suffering. The general advice for the rest of us seems to revolve around reducing stress (ha!), exercise and diet. I feel like I’ve probably got the exercise part of it covered but I know I could probably do more to improve my diet.

Talking to the optician about dry eyes, she recommended increasing my intake of Omega 3, which seems to be a good idea generally. If you search for nutritional advice on the internet, you can very quickly get deep into the weeds, but if the more reputable sites agree on anything, it’s that you should always try and get your nutrients through a varied diet, rather than taking supplements (with the possible exception of vitamin D for us higher latitude dwellers, as there is only so much oily fish you can eat in the week …). Googling high Omega 3 foods also tends to elicit a multitude of different answers (depending on which food marketing board you’ve landed upon) but there does seem to be something of a consensus around fish, seeds (flax, pumpkin and chia) and nuts, particularly walnuts. Which is good because walnuts are also high in magnesium, another nutrient we’ve been advised to increase (it can help to reduce migraines, apparently).

Obviously our first thought was ‘we need to plant some walnut trees’ – and indeed we’re already ahead of the game because I’ve actually got a small walnut tree in a pot waiting until we have miraculously got enough land to plant an orchard. But I think we’re a ways away from our first harvest there, so in the short term we’ve just been getting them from the supermarket like normal people, and then adding them to pretty much everything we can think of (possibly not like normal people).

small walnut seedling in a pot

So far, this has been pretty successful. Walnuts turn out to make a nice crunchy addition to lots of things including my own sourdough bread (still going strong with the sourdough, thanks very much for asking), cauliflower cheese, and carrot and walnut muffins (which also help with getting through the carrot backlog, so it’s win-win). They also seem pretty sustainable, while we wait for our walnut tree to mature. We’re also adding other seeds to the mix, and increasing our intake of mackerel, and it’s been an excuse to vary our weekly menus a bit, which have a tendency to get into a rut. I can’t say I’m feeling any health benefits yet, but if we do, it will have proved a pretty tasty way to do so.

carrot and walnut muffins

So yeah, share your favourite walnut recipes – or even fish, flax and pumpkin recipes. And what are you doing, if anything, to fight back against the forces of time?

* With me, anyway, I can’t blame the menopause for the coonsil. Although …

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4 Responses to Nuts with Everything

  1. Paul Megson says:

    We have a mature walnut tree. Not a good year this year but we normally get a couple of sackloads, which we share with our neighbour, who sold us the house. He showed us a photo of the tree on itsside after the Great Storm of October 1987. His father was distraught, but a neighbour brought his tractor and haule it upright again, and it recovered. They’re very forgiving like that

  2. Up The A9 says:

    I put ground flax and chia seeds in my porridge every morning and that makes me feel pretty omega 3 sorted

  3. juliaL49 says:

    Well, I don’t have a special walnut recipe – I would have recommended adding them to bread dough…

    But I’m writing as the first of my menopause books is very much recommending hrt regardless of symptoms as it improves life substantially (reduces cardiovascular risks, osteoporosis, and many of the known symptoms). Unfortunately it’s in German, so I can’t recommend that you read it.

  4. disgruntled says:

    @Paul – I think Kew did the same with their trees after that storm, and found that some of them did better for it
    @A9 – chia seeds always seemed a bit cliched Guardian readerish even for me but you’re the second person to say that
    @Julia – I have heard this said elsewhere.

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