FOLSOM, Calif., May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a just released consumer survey, flavor and texture are the top reasons people enjoy cooking with meat, and the fear of missing that is the reason fewer people follow a plant-based diet. Conducted by the California Walnut Board1, the study also revealed meat remains the focal point of plates in more than half of weekly meals. However, because of increased concern about nutrition and health, people want to add more plant-based foods to their routine. The simple solution is to create meatless meals that maintain the qualities they enjoy in meat. To do so, consumers are less interested in tofu and soy products as plant-based options and instead turn to walnuts, legumes and mushrooms.
"Just like meat, plant-based foods offer an array of textures and can be seasoned countless ways to take on a variety of flavor profiles," said Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietitian nutritionist and New York Times best-selling author. "Consider the texture you'd like to create when selecting a meatless alternative and add the same bold flavors you enjoy in more meaty recipes to create satisfying plant-based versions of the meals you love."
According to the survey, 83% of Americans are open to making meatless dishes, particularly if they have a similar taste or texture to meat-centric dishes. Walnuts, mushrooms and legumes, including beans, lentils and peas, rise to the top as the three foods they're willing to try in meatless meals. Walnuts, specifically, are an appealing option for their texture (70%), flavor (65%) and nutrients (62%).
"Walnuts are a great option to use in plant-forward dishes because they have a wonderful crunch and mild, nutty flavor that adapts well to an assortment of recipes," said Largeman-Roth. "They also provide a range of nutrients that are important for good health. Walnuts are the only tree nut predominately comprised of polyunsaturated fats2, including an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 ALA.3"
The California Walnut Board has compiled tips and an assortment of meatless recipes to help people easily incorporate more meatless meals into their routine. To bring the flavors people love to the types of dishes Americans are most interested in making meatless, try some of the following recipes and techniques:
- Pastas: Build a base of flavor with a classic combination of onion, carrots and celery, then simmer with chopped walnuts, tomatoes and spices to create a flavorful meatless sauce that will please every family members' taste. Without needing to wait for meat to brown, this California Walnut (Meat Free) Bolognese quickly brings classic Italian flavors to the dining room table.
- Tacos: Pairing walnuts with vegetables and spices like cumin and chili powder lends to a flavorful and texturally pleasing combination. In these Roasted Walnut and Cauliflower Tacos, cauliflower and toasted walnuts are the perfect vehicle for spicy and savory tacos that have a texture that is reminiscent of a ground beef taco.
- Lasagnas: Walnuts add a level of texture between the layers of pasta and sauce. The crunchiness of walnuts and creaminess of spinach and ricotta mixture leave nothing more to be desired in this Spinach Lasagna with Walnut Pesto.
- Burgers: Walnuts, lentils, mushrooms and spices serve as the base of the patty in this Walnut "Bean" Burger. Try adding mesquite seasoning for a classic, just-off-the-grill smokiness, or top with a sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce for an Asian twist.
For more information about walnuts including inspiration and recipes, visit www.walnuts.org.
About the California Walnut Board
The Walnut Marketing Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. In April 2008, the Walnut Marketing Board became the California Walnut Board to provide origin designation to the product it represents. The Board is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers. The CWB is empowered by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity, advertising and educational programs, and also provides funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.
The California Walnut Board (CWB) prohibits discrimination in all programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWB offices at 916-932-7070. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]. CWB is an equal opportunity employer and provider.
The California Walnut Board offices are located at 101 Parkshore Dr., Ste. #250, Folsom, CA 95630.
1 The California Walnuts Meat Alternative Survey was conducted between April 3 and April 12, 2017 among 1,048 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Research was conducted by Kelton.
2 A one-ounce serving of walnuts is predominately composed of polyunsaturated fat, with 13 out of 18 grams of total fat.
3 A one-ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of the plant-based omega-3 ALA.
SOURCE California Walnut Board