Super Food 7: Walnuts
With these hot summer months ahead, I am wanting some lighter options to snack on that are also nutritious. Plus it is always useful to have something to freeze that you can pull out when you need to, especially when you have unexpected visitors coming over during the Christmas period! Why does Christmas have to mean gluttony and sugar? These delicious Healthy Apricot and Walnut Bars make a refreshing change for the hot months ahead ...
So what makes walnuts such a superfood?
5 Facts about Walnuts you Didn't Know
- Walnuts contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid, required by our body. Eating only 25g each day provides about 90% of RDI (recommended daily intake) of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Rich in antioxidants including compounds which have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
- They contain very little carbohydrate which is great if you are looking at cutting back on carbs.
- Contain a whole host of minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. So you get more bang for your buck!
- Walnuts have always been considered important for their medicinal properties, including curing bad breath, reducing inflammation, and healing wounds.
Healthy Apricot and Walnut Bars (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)
Here's what you'll need...
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour/meal, packed
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 eggs or egg replacer
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2-3 tablespoons almond milk, as needed (you can use regular milk if you prefer)
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly diced ( I would recommend also adding in some dried cherries too)
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
And here's how to make it...
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 30x24 cm (nine inch) baketray tin with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the following dry ingredients - brown rice flour, almond flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, sea salt, and ginger.
- Add in the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. The batter should be thickish, clumpy and sticky. Add in the almond milk one tablespoon at a time, until the batter becomes smoother but not too wet.
- Add in the dried apricots and walnuts. Stir to combine.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking tin and smooth the surface evenly.
- Place the pan into the center of a pre-heated oven and bake until golden and set - about 40 minutes until the top and the center are firm. Insert a knife to check if you are unsure to make certain the center has baked thoroughly.
- Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container. They can also be frozen. Great to keep on hand for on-the-go breakfast treats and snacks and as a healthy treat for kids.
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: Approx 15 bars
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