How To Boost Your Heart Health With California Walnuts

Leigh Beisch ©

Looking after your heart health is a must, but the good news is that this doesn’t have to be difficult.

Simple lifestyle changes through modifying your diet can have a big impact on your ticker, as our brand of the month California Walnuts explains…

What your heart needs

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is essential to heart health. Our bodies can’t make it themselves, so it’s important to ensure we eat foods that contain ALA for good health and normal growth and development.

California Walnuts are the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of the plant-based omega 3 ALA which, research has shown, helps to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels1 and has a beneficial role in the prevention of heart disease2.

As well as omega 3 ALA, one portion of walnuts also contains a high amount of fibre (1.4g/30g serving3) and good polyunsaturated fats, making them a nutritional powerhouse!

Grab a slice of this tasty recipe

This month, California Walnuts is celebrating the omega 3 content of its walnuts by teaming up with cookery duo Roxy and Ben, founders of So Vegan, to create a plant-based dish that uses California Walnuts as a plant-based meat alternative. The result is this BBQ walnut ‘meat’ pizza – delicious!

Makes 2 large pizzas (serves 4)


For the pizza dough:

  • 420g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and topping

For the toppings:

  • 140g pizza sauce (shop-bought or see below for our homemade version)
  • 200g vegan cheese, grated
  • ½ yellow pepper, sliced
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 100g marinated artichokes in oil, quartered (fresh or jarred)
  • 2 pinches of chilli flakes
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil

For the walnut ‘meat’:

  • 120g California Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  1. Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and make a well in the middle. Pour in the water and olive oil and stir to combine, then empty the dough onto a clean work surface. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead for 10 minutes until you can stretch the dough without it tearing. You shouldn’t have to flour the work surface, as this might make the dough too dry.
  2. Lightly oil the mixing bowl you used earlier, add the dough and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Leave it somewhere warm to prove for between 45 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Lightly punch the air out of the dough and divide it into two pieces. Place one piece underneath the damp tea towel or freeze it for another time. Then drop the other piece of dough in a cast-iron pan (we use a 26cm pan). Use your hands to gently push the dough to the edges of the pan. Then add half of the pizza sauce, using the back of a ladle or spoon to push the sauce to the edges of the base. Sprinkle over half of the cheese, followed by half of the yellow pepper, red pepper, red onion and artichokes. Bake for 17 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the California Walnut ‘meat’ ingredients to a food processor and blend into a mince-like texture, then leave to one side.
  5. Take the pizza out of the oven, scatter half of the meat mixture on top and place the pizza back in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  6. When the pizza is ready, sprinkle over a pinch of chilli flakes, add half a dozen or so fresh basil leaves and drizzle over some olive oil. Slice and serve, then start building the remaining pizza if you’re still hungry!

Simple Pizza Sauce Recipe


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Add the olive oil to a saucepan on a low-medium heat. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry for a minute or two, or until the garlic begins to turn golden. Then add the chopped tomatoes, dried oregano and pinches of salt and pepper.
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat. Use straight away or store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

To get involved in California Walnuts’ Power of 3 campaign, simply follow #ShareThePowerof3 on social media.

1As part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to alpha linolenic acid and maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations (ID 493) and maintenance of normal blood pressure (ID 625) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 - - 2009 - EFSA Journal - Wiley Online Library.


3Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.