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Walnut Burgers for Metabolic Health

A recent study found that walnut (Juglans regia, Juglandaceae) consumption provided antioxidant activity in subjects with different paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) phenotypes at risk for heart disease (See HC 011368-472).1 As concern for the effects of meat consumption on dietary health grows, as well as the controversy over the proper labeling of meat that the British public has experienced in 2012-2013, alternative protein sources have become a conscious consideration for the general public and more meat alternatives have been introduced to the market. However, many of these pre-packaged "meat alternatives" may contain ingredients that do not provide overall health benefits. Below is a recipe for raw nut burgers made with walnuts and almonds (Prunus dulcis, Rosaceae), a nut that has been shown to lower cholesterol and aid in heart health.

Mexican Nut Burger Recipe

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight, then rinsed

1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight, then rinsed

½ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight, then rinsed

1 onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. miso

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours

1 tsp. chili powder

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. cumin

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until minced and thoroughly mixed. Add a little olive oil if mixture needs more binding. Shape into small burger-sized patties on dehydrator sheets. There are various methods for dehydration. One would be to dehydrate the burgers for one hour at 145°F, then reduce the temperature to 115°F until about half dry. The burgers can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. The recipe can also be adapted to Italian nut burgers by replacing the chili powder and cumin with Italian seasoning.

The recipe was adapted from a nut burger recipe found in Brigitte Mars’ Rawsome! Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.; 2004.


1Sánchez-Muniz FJ, Canales A, Nus M, et al. The antioxidant status response to low-fat and walnut paste-enriched meat differs in volunteers at high cardiovascular risk carrying different PON-1 polymorphisms. J Am Coll Nutr. June 2012;31(3):194-205.

Lori Glenn,  Managing Editor