Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas With These Scrumptious Walnut Recipes

’Tis the season to be jolly! Yes, indeed. December brings with it a wave of excitement, because Christmas is coming! Cue the Christmas carols. It’s that time of the year when children are on their best behaviour, in anticipation of shiny new toys from Santa Claus, and parents are busy, decorating their homes and baking delicious treats. Simply put, it’s a magical time of the year, and we’re here to try and make it all the more magical for you.

As Christmas Day approaches and you begin to put together a detailed Christmas menu, make sure to skim through our list of California walnut-approved recipes. Not only are these recipes Christmas appropriate, but they are also pretty nutritious, considering the fact that they make use of walnuts. A handful of walnuts (28g) are packed with the essential fatty acid omega-3 ALA (2.5g) and also offer protein (4g),  fiber (2g), and other key nutrients. Not just that, walnuts are versatile enough to meet sweet and salty cravings plus, they’ve been connected to benefits for the heart1, brainand gut3, making your everyday healthy.

So, this Christmas, let’s celebrate good health and good taste with these hearty recipes.

California Walnut Chorizo Frittata


Walnut Chorizo

  • 1/2 cup California walnuts
  • 1/3 cup garbanzo beans, canned, rinsed, drained
  • 3 tablespoons red peppers, roasted
  • 1 tablespoon processed cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, fresh, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon coriander, ground

Spinach & Chorizo Frittata

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 cup spinach, fresh, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1/4 cup processed cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • California walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • Green onions, sliced (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)


  1. To prepare chorizo, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and sticks together. Cook oil in a small non-stick skillet for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. To prepare frittata, preheat oven to 180°C.Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and jalapeno pepper; cook and stir for a few minutes more. Stir in spinach and cook until very lightly wilted; stir in 2/3 of the chorizo mixture.
  3. Add eggs to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute or until eggs are partially set. Stir in cheese.
  4. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 10 minutes or until eggs are set. Top with remaining chorizo mixture and sprinkle with walnuts, green onions, and cilantro, if desired.

Crostini With Walnut Parmesan Cream


  • 3/4 cup California walnuts
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 24 diagonally cut baguette slices
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil


  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes, preferably smoked
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped California walnuts toasted
  • Snipped fresh basil or microgreens (optional garnish)


  1. Place walnuts, water, and garlic in a small blender. Blend until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add Parmesan cheese and salt and blend again until fairly smooth. (May be prepared 1 day ahead and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator.)
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush one side of each baguette slice with equal amounts of oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Top each with about 1 teaspoon pesto and 1 1/2 teaspoons walnut cream.
  4. Sprinkle with tomatoes and walnuts and garnish with basil or microgreens.

Christmas Fruit & Walnut Cake


For Soaking

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons tutti frutti
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon black currants
  • 1 tablespoon cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons dried and candied assorted fruits (Kiwi, Pineapple, Orange)
  • 2-3 soft dates

For The Dry Mix

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • A pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar/ lime juice, for the buttermilk
  • ½ cup roasted California walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Some orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • Some milk, for brushing
  • Icing sugar, for dusting on top


  1. Start with soaking the fruits into the juice. Mix them all really well and keep aside for an hour.
  2. For the dry mix, sieve everything (all the dry mix ingredients) together and keep aside.
  3. For the buttermilk, mix in the vinegar/ lime juice into the milk and set aside for exactly 10 minutes.
  4. Now, take the chopped walnuts and add ½ teaspoon of the dry mix to it. Keep it aside too.
  5. For the caramel syrup, heat sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a pan. Cook on a low flame with continuous stirring until the mixture turns golden.
  6. Once it turns golden, add in 4 tablespoons of water and cook until the solution becomes uniform.
  7. Remove and keep aside to cool.
  8. Now, to make the cake batter, take a large mixing bowl. Add the soaked fruits, caramel syrup, brown sugar, orange zest, and mix well.
  9. Add the prepared buttermilk, and give a good mix.
  10. Now, add in the dry mix in two parts. Add the first half and mix very gently. Do not over mix.
  11. Add the balance dry mix and melted butter. Again, give a gentle mix.
  12. Lastly, add the walnuts and mix once again.
  13. Transfer the batter into a baking tin (lined with parchment paper) and bake at 170°C for 45- 50 minutes in a preheated oven.
  14. Remove and brush with some milk. This prevents the cake from drying.
  15. Cover with a muslin cloth and let it cool in the baking tin itself for 10 minutes.
  16. After 10 minutes, unmold and cool it further on a wire rack. This prevents soggy bottoms.
  17. Once cooled completely, dust with some icing sugar on top.
  18. Garnish, slice, and serve.


1Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (FDA) One ounce of walnuts offers 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant-based omega-3.

2Spencer SJ, Korosi A, Layé S. et al. Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion. Npj Sci Food. 2017;7(1).doi.org/10.1038/s41538-017-0008-y

3Byerley LO, Samuelson D, Blanchard E, et al. Changes in the gut microbial communities following the addition of walnuts to the diet. J Nutr Biochem. 2017;48:94–102. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.07.001