California Walnuts, cacao and chickpeas come together to create a sweet super food snack that is filled with fiber and packs a protein punch! Spread this chocolate walnut hummus on toast or use as a dip for strawberries, apple slices and more.
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Y’all probably know by now that I
am love nuts. All kinds of nuts. Walnuts are no exception, so I was pumped when I saw the We Heart Walnuts! Recipe Challenge from California Walnuts and The Recipe ReDux. As a kid, I only enjoyed walnuts at Thanksgiving and Christmastime, when my mom would keep mixed nuts out for us to snack on. I would pick through the bowl just to find the walnuts so I could use the nutcracker to break them free from their shells. Nowadays, I enjoy walnuts year-round as snacks, but also in salads and entrees. For this challenge, I worked up a recipe that features walnuts as a hummus which can be served as a snack, dessert or even a spread on sandwiches.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s have a quick chat about what makes walnuts so great. From a culinary standpoint, walnuts have a flavor and texture that pairs well with so many other foods. They can be used in sauces and spreads or as a crunchy coating on meats and fish. Walnuts are also ideal when it comes to nutrition. Just one ounce of walnuts provides 4 grams of plant-based protein and 2 grams of fiber. As a plant-powered eater, nuts (along with beans and legumes) make up a big portion of my protein intake so it’s key to have a variety of recipes I can enjoy them in. An ounce of walnuts also provides 2.5 grams of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid–more than 8 times the amount found in the next highest nut! That means they’re good for boosting brainpower, plus research shows a diet rich in walnuts can help to reduce risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and even diabetes. Walnuts are a good source of both magnesium and phosphorous, minerals that are involved in energy metabolism, bone and heart health. It’s easy to see why walnuts have been dubbed the “hardest working nut”, right?
Now that you know why walnuts are so great for you, let’s get to the good stuff…how to eat them! Of course you can opt for a handful of walnuts as a mid-morning or afternoon snack, but the real fun comes in pairing walnuts with other whole nutritious foods to create a winning combo. Like, for example, my Chocolate Walnut Hummus!
I like to keep things simple, so this recipe has just six ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand in your pantry right now. Chickpeas and walnuts pair up to give this dish staying power (read: protein and fiber), while the cacao adds a chocolate kick and antioxidant benefits. This hummus is lightly sweetened using pure maple syrup and is best enjoyed as a vehicle for lots of fruits and veggies. I bought some fresh strawberries and chopped up a crisp apple to dip in the hummus, but it would also be great on carrots, celery or even jicama. If you’re a fan of chocolate at breakfast (and really, who isn’t?!), you could also spread it onto toast for a super satisfying start to the day. Finally, there’s no shame in just grabbing a spoonful of it here and there straight out of the fridge. Not that I would know… 😉
- 1 cup California walnuts
- 1 cup canned chickpeas (plus ~ 1/2 c liquid from the can)
- 2 Tablespoons cacao powder
- 1.5 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well combined.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Also, be sure to check out all of the other yummy walnut recipes from Recipe Reduxers in the links below.