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Tasty Kid Friendly Walnut Recipes


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Tasty Kid Friendly Walnut Recipes

Walnuts can be a healthy part of your child’s nutrition plan! Learn how to include this tasty nut into your kids’ favorite meals!

Walnuts provide antioxidants and an essential fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Walnuts are also a good source of magnesium -and most American’s fall short of meeting their magnesium goals.  When you think walnuts, you may just think of heart and brain health but recent animal studies show that walnuts may slow or prevent the growth of some cancers.  Check out these healthy kid-friendly recipes below.

Mac and Cheese Make-Over

Mollie Katzen’s Mac & Cheese with walnuts is the real McCoy! For maximum flavor using minimal saturated fat, be sure to use very sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe.


  • Nonstick spray for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • A big pinch or two garlic powder (optional)
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • A big dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 slices (2 ounces) whole-wheat bread, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup California Walnuts, chopped


  1. Spray a 1-quart gratin pan or baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside. Set the oven rack high in the oven (highest rung) and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the milk until it is very hot (fine to do this directly in the measuring cup in a microwave, if the cup is microwave proof.) Do not let the milk boil. When it is hot, set aside near the stove.
  3. Put a pot of lightly salted water to boil. When it reaches a boil, add the macaroni and let it cook until tender. When it is tender, toss in the chopped broccoli and wait about 30 seconds, then drain the entire potful into a colander in a sink.
  4. While the macaroni is cooking, place a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, and use a narrow, closely-tined whisk to beat in the flour, mustard, and garlic powder. Keep whisking until it forms a thick paste (this will happen within seconds!) and then slowly drizzle in the hot milk, still vigorously whisking, so it becomes smooth as the milk is incorporated. Turn the heat to low, and switch to mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep cooking and stirring until it is velvety, thick, and smooth.
  5. Add the salt, half the cheddar, the Parmesan, and the cayenne, and stir until the cheese is fully blended. Remove from heat. Add the cooked macaroni and broccoli to the cheese sauce, also adding the remaining cheddar. Stir until all the pasta is well coated. Transfer to the prepared pan, top with the breadcrumbs and walnuts, and bake uncovered in the high part of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and crisp on top. Serve warm.

Serves 6

Nutrition information per serving: 350 Calories; Total Fat 17g; Saturated Fat 6g; Monounsaturated Fat 5g; Polyunsaturated Fat 6g; Cholesterol 22mg; Sodium 370mg; Carbohydrates 35g; Fiber 5g; Protein 16g

Nutty Cinnamon Fruit Spread

nutty-fruit-spread-hi-res webiste

Kid and grown-up friendly!


  • 1/2 cup dried Mediterranean apricots
  • 1 cup California Walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Place apricots in a food processor and pulse to chop.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and pulse again until finely chopped. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Serve on whole grain bagels, apple slices, toast or graham crackers.


  • Reduce apricots to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup dried cherries.
  • Replace apricots with dried apple rings.

The delicious, earth-richness of walnuts, combined with Panko bread crumbs, give a surprising crunch to the cod fillets.

Walnut and Panko Crispy Fish Fillets

panko-fish-fillet for website


For The Fish Fillets

  • 3/4 cup California Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 3-inch long pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Lemon wedges

For The Lemon Dill Topping (Stir Together):

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain (or light sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil; coat with olive oil spray.
  2. Stir together walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic salt and dill in a shallow dish.
  3. Beat together eggs and mustard in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a separate shallow dish.
  4. Roll fish pieces into flour, then egg mixture, then walnut mixture and place on baking sheet.
  5. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Lemon Dill Topping.

Recipes provided by the California Walnut Commission

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