Health food heroes # 5 – Garlic and walnuts

Hi and welcome to the final episode in this month's Health Food Heroes! 

Last time on Health Food Heroes we covered blueberries and coffee. Today our two candidates are garlic and walnuts.

Whether you're a healthy eating enthusiast or you're just dipping your toes into the world of good food choices, read on and you may just learn something new about these food heroes – you might even pop them into your produce bag next time you're at the shops.

As we're all about reducing the stress that single use plastic bags puts on our planet, the lightweight yet strong tulle material of our bags means they have a two kilogramme capacity – now that's a lot of produce. For your next trip to the market, Onya has a great range of eco friendly bags which pack down to a tiny pouch you can clip onto your key ring.  

1. Garlic

What is it?

This small bulb comes from the same family as the lily, and has small almond-shaped cloves used in cooking. The outer film on each clove is often a soft purplish colour, with the white cloves turning more pliant and cream-coloured as they are cooked through. 

Garlic is mainly available dried, but fresh or green garlic is also available from some vendors. According to Australian Garlic Producers (AGP), the majority of our garlic is imported, but there are a few local growers supported by the AGP. 

What makes it a food hero?

Apart from warding off vampires, BBC's Good Food says that garlic is known for its antibacterial properties as well as being excellent source for vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium, calcium, potassium and iron. 

What can I do with it?

Cook with it! Garlic is well represented in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, adding its delicious flavour​ to savoury dishes. 

2. Walnuts 

What are they?

A very versatile nut, walnuts in their most common dried form have a tough outer shell, with a ridged texture. Their edible innards have a dry, slightly bitter taste, with a shape said to resemble the human brain. Fancy that. 

What makes them a food hero?

Known for containing health beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are also thought to be beneficial for heart health. Loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, the humble walnut was judged the most beneficial of all nuts for a promoting a healthy heart, as reported by WebMD. 

What can I do with them?

Walnuts can be eaten raw, but they are also used in a wide variety of recipes both savoury and sweet. Especially popular for baked goods, walnuts can lend their distinctive nutty taste and texture to all sorts of dishes. You can by them with or without their shells, but if you prefer to crack your own nuts, Good Food advise that you do it gently to avoid damaging the inner kernel.