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Awake at the Whisk: New at the Farmers' Market: Walnut Oil

Thursday, February 17, 2011


New at the Farmers' Market: Walnut Oil

Walnut Oil
Glashoff Farms is quickly becoming one of the most innovative spots at the downtown Sacramento farmers' market. This summer, they delighted us with spicy homemade pickles nearly the size of a pint glass. Now, they’re selling liquid gold: walnut oil.

Glashoff Farms walnut oil at the Sacramento farmers' market.

Imagine the scent of freshly baked cookies brimming with chunks of bold walnuts. Opening the jar of Glashoff’s walnut oil releases a similar sweet aroma that’s reminiscent of chocolate and golden brown sugar. The best of this richly flavored nut is released through the oil. It’s absolutely decadent. You’ll be tempted to pour yourself a shot—it smells that good!

I bought my first jar of walnut oil in early winter when Glashoff first started selling it. For $14, I got a 16.9 oz. tin, which I quickly depleted. Instead of canola oil, I have been substituting walnut oil in all my baked good recipes—with outstanding results. The aroma soaks delicately through the recipe, adding a balance that brings the finished product to a heightened level.

For example, I have used it repeatedly in my pumpkin waffles, which are already rich with warm spices, a whisper of brown sugar, and served joyfully with grade B maple syrup. Tucked ever so subtly inside, the walnut oil murmurs its flavor into each unsurpassed bite. My waffles made me swoon before. With walnut oil, I need a moment to recover from each incredible bite.

Yet, walnut oil shouldn't be reserved for those with a sweet tooth. In fact, it brings a nutty brightness to caramelized onions, and a rounded umami finish to sautéed broccoli (to which you can also add a handful of lightly toasted whole walnuts and finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese). It also makes delicious and unique salad dressing. Or, simply tear slices of your favorite bread and use the oil as a dip.

As if these aren’t enough great reasons to start using walnut oil immediately, don’t even get me started on the mountains of research that point to walnuts and walnut oil as a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids to fight any number of ailments, including stress, cancer, bone health, and motor skills.

These nuts are impressive! So, too, is Glashoff’s brilliant idea to start selling this honey-colored oil.

Here are a few other stories about Glashoff’s farm:

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Excellent. I have been making walnut bread using the oil, it includes bran, and it is amazing:

2.5 cups warm water
2.25 teaspoons active dry yeast
.25 cup roasted walnut oil
1 tablespoon honey or malt syrup
.5 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup wheat bran
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
about 2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups chopped walnuts
melted butter for the top of the bread

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