Note: “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Walnuts and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Here is a new summer smoothie I can’t seem to get enough of these days. This is my strawberry-plum walnut smoothie and it is outrageously delicious. This is the perfect, heart-healthy fruit smoothie to help ease those late afternoon cravings we all struggle with. And here’s the latest statistics I’m so focused on. New research from Kelton and California Walnuts recently revealed that about 97% of Americans admit to snacking daily and I’m one of them. Out of this group, a substantial portion, about 22% (or an astounding 53 million Americans) are actively seeking not only healthier snack options, but ones that specifically promote better cognitive health.
Health Benefits of Walnuts:
Digging deeper I learned research suggests walnut consumption may be associated with improved cognitive function. I find this fascinating. Alzheimers happens to runs in my family. Both my grandmother and my aunt suffered from this debilitating disease. Three of my closest friends have a parent who is struggling with it as well. The statistics of people suffering from some form of cognitive impairment is alarming. Anything believed to improve cognitive function is significant to me. And this leads me to nuts.
Nuts, of all kinds, are a stable in my home and something we all enjoy snacking on. I cook and bake with nuts often. My husband’s recent nut obsession is with walnuts. About a year ago he began eating walnuts as an easy, take anywhere healthy snack because they are high in protein and filling. A bowl of fresh whole walnuts now sits predominately on my kitchen counter.
Walnuts originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Walnuts offer a significant source of essential omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than many foods. Current research is focusing on this powerful, plant-based protein with considerable attributes, including that on mood and concentration.
In addition, oats, are another ingredient in this smoothie, that deserves recognition. Oatmeal has many health benefits and the addition of a quality whole grain elevates this healthy snack to an even healthier one. Both oats and oatmeal are loaded with dietary fiber and cholesterol lowering properties. The addition of whole grains in ones diet has many heath-relate benefits including; weight loss, blood sugar management, diabetes control, arthritis prevention and protection against heart disease. And for what’s it’s worth, “whole grains” includes not just oats, but also whole wheat, millet, brown rice, barley, bulgur, spelt and quinoa to name just a few.
Milk, cow or oat, in combination with a little yogurt and honey add natural sweetness and create the perfect creamy texture. Less sugar in this smoothie makes it delicious and filling minus that sugar crash you get from eating junk food. And if you’re looking for a dairy-free option, no problem, sub out the greek yogurt for your favorite dairy-free yogurt. If you are a smoothie lover, be sure to check some of my other easy smoothie options, such as my favorite breakfast protein smoothie, blueberry-banana walnut smoothie or my mango-pineapple protein smoothie. We are at the peak of summer, stay safe, stay active and strive to be a little bit healthier, one snack at a time.
Strawberry-Plum Walnut Smoothie
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
- 1 cup fresh plums, pitted and quartered
- 2 tablespoons California Walnuts
- 1/4 cup whole grain rolled oats
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or non-dairy alternative of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons local wildflower honey
- 8 ice cubes
- Step 1 Using a kitchen mixer, add the strawberries, plums, walnuts oats, soy milk, yogurt, honey and ice. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, to blend thoroughly. Serve immediately.
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