18 Mar 2010

Walnut Oil

Oil has been extracted from walnuts and added to food for thousands of years. Walnut oil, with it's wonderful nutty flavour has also been found to have exceptional health and nutritional benefits. 

Nutritionally cold expeller pressed walnut oil, not the refined oil,  is high in linoleic acid, Omega_3 fatty acids,  vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, tryptophan, manganese, copper and many phytonutrients. 

Health wise, consuming walnuts or walnut oil regularly lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and therefore assists in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. The high concentration of Omega_3 fatty acids helps maintain a healthy brain. It also supplies the body with many of the essential fatty acids and antioxidants that it requires. and is said to slow the aging process. Another benefit is that walnuts and walnut oil have anti-inflammatory properties and which assist in easing arthritis pain. Another benefit is the increase of blood levels of melatonin so assist with insomnia. 

Externally walnut oil also has many health and beauty benefits for the skin. The oil has great emollient qualities and often used as a blend by masseurs. It is used to regenerate and moisturise mature, dry, and damaged skin. It is used in combating skin problems like eczema. and fungal infestions. It is also used as a sunbathing oil as it protect the skin from UV damage and enhances tanning. 

Artists might be interested to know that walnut oil was a favourite of Renaissance painters due to it's ability to dry quickly. Modern painters tend to prefer linseed oil. 

WARNING: If allergic to tree nuts do not use the oil either internally or externally. 

Walnut oil is fairly expensive and loses nutrition if over heated so rather add to dishes after cooking. It's has a rich, nutty flavor that is perfect to add to salad dressings, pesto, pasta, and puddings. An unopened bottle of walnut oil can be kept for well over a year but once opened it will only keep refrigerated for a few months and a couple of months unrefrigerated before losing it's nutritional and health properties. 

All in all walnut oil is worth the extra expense against common canola and sunflower oils.


How to Make Suntan Oil
From eHow      

4 tbsps organic coconut oil 
2 tbsp cold pressed sesame seed oil 
2 tsps cold pressed walnut oil 
2 tsps hazelnut oil 
10 drops lavender essential oil 
5 drops ylang ylang essential oil 
dark glass bottle with seal

Pour first 4 oils into a dark glass bottle. Coconut oil is the main active ingredient in this suntan oil. It has potent, skin-darkening properties and is a major ingredient in most professional tanning oils. The sesame seed and walnut oil both moisturize skin and provide protection against damaging UV rays. Add  of lavender and  ylang ylang oils to the mix. Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and will help prevent a sunburn. The ylang ylang gives the oil a pleasant fragrance. Seal the bottle and shake it vigorously to mix the oils together. Always shake the bottle before use as the oils tend to separate when left alone. Apply the suntan oil all over your skin at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure.

Dry Skin Massage Oil
From Cottage Hills Herbs       

1/2oz / 15gm shea butter (melted gently in a double boiler) cool slightly and then add–
5tsps / 25ml walnut oil
6tsps / 30ml jojoba oil
1tsp / 5ml rosehip seed oil
2tsps / 10ml hemp seed oil
1tsp / 5ml wheatgerm oil
2tsps / 10ml meadow foam oil
20 drops sandalwood essential oil 

This luxurious massage oil may be used for a whole body massage, or use face and neck area. Shea butter adds more nutrients and body to the blend. For best results use daily after bathing.

Cool Bean Salad
By Rick Stein From Fresh Food

250g/9oz French beans, trimmed
a bowl of iced water
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
10 walnuts, roughly chopped

Blanch and refresh the beans in the iced water. Whisk the oil and crushed garlic together in a serving bowl. Drain the beans and add to the serving bowl along with the chopped nuts. Toss through until the beans are coated in the dressing. 

Home-made Vegan "Nutella" Recipe
By Jolinda Hackett, Vegetarian Guide

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3-4 tbsp vegetable, walnut, coconut or safflower oil
2 tbsp soy milk

Using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until fine and powdery. Process for another minute or two. If your food processor is strong enough, the hazelnuts will eventually turn creamy and smooth. If you're using a less powerful food processor, this won't happen. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, adding a little bit more or less liquid to get desired consistency. 
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Marion said...

It's too bad Walnut Oil does not last very long. I was given a bottle of Walnut Oil...I used it perhaps three times before it went rancid. But I didn't keep it in the fridge...a mistake. thank you for letting me know it must be kept cold...the next bottle of the Oil I buy will be smaller and kept refrigerated!The taste of it is so rich and nutty...I love it.

Jenn said...

Thanks for posting, I received Walnut Oil as part of a gift set and had no idea what to do with you have any suggestions for Pumpkin seed oil?

Jackie said...

Jenn, Pumpkin seed oil is known to prevent and alleviate bladder and prostate problems plus great for smooth skin, increased energy, and optimum brain function. Keeps well in fridge, do not heat but add to salad dressings or smoothies :)

Marion, yes sadly walnut oil doesn't keep long even when in the fridge and so I always buy the smallest bottle I can find when I buy it.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I found this when googling walnut oil for the skin. Thanks for all the info!