Nutty about nuts

Walnuts 2

This post wears lots of hats; by that I mean it is going to cover many of the categories that I write about. This week has been more hectic than usual and I haven’t written a single post. Not One. I’m going to squeeze this post in to cover Week 2 of the Green Urban Living Challenge which is all about creating a meal (snack in my case) out of Local Ingredients. It will also cover Low Sugar Baking which is becoming something I’m really interested in and of course Seasonal. My garden is Bursting with produce at the moment. My veranda looks like a very messy grocers with buckets of quince, sunflower heads, the odd fig and now walnuts.

Walnut tree

Here’s my walnut tree. It’s a beautiful shaped tree and a favourite climbing tree of the Figlets. It sheltered the little figlet sticks for a year and produces enormous amounts of huge walnuts every year. I’ve been a bit unadventurous about processing this nut; I generally give a lot away and eat a few raw and some find their way on top of a coffee cake. However, this year is different. I’ve had this recipe in mind for a little while now. It’s from Dr Libby’s Real Food Chef Cookbook. Dr Libby is all about the Power of the Plant and how we should be eating a larger proportion of live green plants and less meat. After each recipe she gives information about nutrients within the dish and how they will benefit you. It’s impossible to cook one of her recipes without feeling Really Virtuous! So, without further ado lets get Virtuous!

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Dr Libby’s Brain Balls
2 cups walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup cacao powder
8 fresh dates (or I used 16 dried dates)
1/4 cup water (you might need a bit more)
Pinch of salt

Combine the walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates and coconut in a food processor and pulse until combined (I added all the dry ingredients together).

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Add the cacao powder, salt and water and process until it firms up a little. Add more water if the mixture is too dry.

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Form the mixture into little balls, place on waxed paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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These little morsels taste satisfyingly chocolately and they feel like a little treat. However, they are so much more than that being full to the brim with monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory so good for the heart and brain. A good source of zinc and vitamin E and a great source of energy. What a little star. The downside is they need to be chilled otherwise they’re a bit crumbly but I might try them in a lunchbox with a small freeze pack to keep them firm. I think you could quite easily substitute other ingredients into this recipe. I actually added some raisins too but I was also thinking dried cranberries and apricots and perhaps use hazelnuts. As I was making them it put me in mind of Nigella’s Puddini BonBons made to look like mini Christmas puds. A splodge of white icing and a snippet of cherry and angelica and these would make a very healthy version!

Walnuts 1

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