Another big plus for walnuts is that they don’t increase the operational complexity for kitchen staff, since they are available in different sizes, flavor combinations, and more.
“Walnuts can be ordered in different sizes ranging from whole pieces to walnut meal to make it easy for back-of-house use,” Arndt says. “We source both whole California walnuts and walnut halves, and we recently started requesting smaller walnut pieces from our supplier for the walnut milk we make in house.”
On a per-pound basis, walnuts are also more economical than many meat alternatives on the market, especially when they are mixed with low-cost black beans or garbanzo beans into a pulse to make a bulk crumble that can be used across the menu.
Additionally, Greene says culinary protein kits made from California walnuts, such as Azar Nuts’ “it’s nature” Walnut Crumbles can help chefs maintain back-of-house efficiency with a variety of taste profiles. “The kits include chopped and seasoned walnuts available in two amazing flavors: Chorizo and Italian,” she says. “These are an easy option for tacos, burgers, meatballs, chili, pasta sauces, breakfast scrambles, nachos, and more.”
Pictured above: Walnut “Chorizo” Crumble. Find the recipe here.