Anti-Inflammatory Superfood Snack: Turmeric & Walnuts

By Kacey Morrow, RD, CD, CLT

Prior to working on my own gut-health, I wasn’t aware of the benefits of soaking and dehydrating nuts. Doing so greatly increases their nutrient profile by breaking down the enzyme inhibitors in nuts/seeds (compounds that prevent proper digestion) as well as neutralizing the phytic acid that can bind minerals.  This means that as a result, your body gets the wonderful nutrients in the food vs. becoming “bound up” and passing right through you.  Thankfully, soaking and dehydrating nuts couldn’t be easier! For very little hands-on time, you can create a versatile and nutrient-rich food. While a dehydrator comes in handy and makes the process more energy-efficient, the directions below include how to accomplish the same results with a standard oven.

In addition to the antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E found in walnuts, this recipe includes a super hero in the arena of reduced inflammation...Turmeric! There is incredible research around turmeric’s ability to drive down inflammation and this is an incredibly tasty way to naturally increase your intake of this spice! Combining turmeric with fats (coconut oil in this case) as well as pepper also greatly improves your body’s ability to absorb the turmeric. Enjoy!


Turmeric Spiced Crunchy Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • Walnuts, raw and shelled
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil for every cup of walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric for every cup of walnuts
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, ground

Instructions:

1. Place walnuts in a large bowl and add water until you have covered the walnuts by approximately 2 inches of water.

2. Add 1/4 tsp. of sea salt for every cup of walnuts.

3. Cover with a towel and let soak at room temperature for 4-6 hours.

4. After done soaking, drain and rinse well.

5. Pour walnuts onto a large baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.

6. Place in oven and set temperature to 170 degrees F.  Fold a kitchen towel and close oven door using the folded towel as a small prop for the door. This allows some heat to escape and keeps the oven temp below 170 degrees. It is said that the ideal temperature for dehydrating is closer to 150 degrees. Keep in oven for 12-18 hours, or until walnuts are dry and crisp.

7. Pour dehydrated walnuts into a large bowl.

8. Melt coconut oil and drizzle over nuts. Toss gently with a large spoon in order to lightly coat walnuts.

9. Sprinkle in turmeric and cayenne and continue to gently stir with spoon.

10. Add sea salt to taste.

11. Set out as a unique appetizer for your next dinner party, munch for a mid-day snack, or chop and sprinkle over salads!


Many thanks to contributing author Kacey Morrow, RD, CD, CLT.
Kacey is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients on therapeutic dietary approaches to health and healing. She is also founder of Ambia (ambiawellness.com), which provides virtual nutrition services and online wellness programs.