This post is sponsored by the California Walnut Commission
Pimento cheese is one of my top 10 favorite foods. I just love the combination of flavor and texture – even more so if you add some nuts in for crunch!! The California Walnut Commission asked me to create a recipe with walnuts celebrating their taste and nutrition, and the idea for this pimento cheese came to me in a dream. Kid you not!
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, known for short as ALA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. The body can’t make these on its own, so they are known as essential fatty acids that we have to get from food. Along with flax, chia seeds and canola oil, walnuts are one of the high sources of ALA in plants. (This page from WH Foods provides tons of information on omega-3s!) The body can convert ALA into other essential fatty acids EPA and DHA (which are famous for being found in algae and fatty fish like sardines), so it’s important, especially if you don’t eat fish. Recent research has linked ALA with a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease. So let’s eat more walnuts!
Begin this recipe by spicing your walnuts in butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper for a little kick.
Set them aside to cool –
Once that step is done, it’s time to shred cheese and mix. Always freshly grate your cheese – it tastes so much better than the pre-shredded stuff!
Chop your pimentos (if you forgot to buy the diced kind 😉 )
And then mix in greek yogurt and lemon juice. I am not a huge fan of gloppy mayo-packed pimento cheese so greek yogurt is the perfect binder here! It’s so fresh and provides extra protein.
Finally mix in the walnuts
Delicious on crackers, chips, celery, cucumbers, peppers, sandwiches, and more!
Spiced Walnut Pimento Cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- For the pimento cheese
- 4 ounces cheddar
- 2 ounces pepper jack
- 2 tbsp pimentos minced
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt start light and add more
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 cup spiced walnuts
- Melt butter in a skillet on medium low heat.
- Add walnuts and spices and stir frequently for about 4-5 minutes, until walnuts are fragrant and begin to brown.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Shred cheese by hand or a food processor.
- Chop pimentos if necessary.
- Add all ingredients together and mix well by hand.
Thanks to The California Walnut Commission for sponsoring this post!