Spiced Walnut Butter

 

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If your anything like me, walnuts haven’t rated too highly on my ‘nut list’ either. But did you know that walnuts have the highest amount of omega 3- fatty acid of any nut? In other words it’s the all round hair, skin and nail food. Now does it sound a bit more appealing? Ok well I tried.

I still believe the walnut has the right to be released from the prison of banana breads and festive nut trail mixes; it has a hugely bold even bitter flavour, I agree, but when combined with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, it seems to mellow down to a smooth pecan like taste. I say make the most of that trail mix and create the most irresistible butter you would have ever tasted. I’ve been enjoying it all week and feeling good!

This recipe can keep for up to 2 weeks if stored in an air tight glass jar in the fridge. This recipe makes just over a cup of walnut butter. Enjoy!

 

Spiced Walnut Butter

Ingredients

3 cups of raw walnuts
pinch of salt
40 mls Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2-3 tsp liquid coconut oil

Method

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (350F). Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Watch them carefully as you don’t want them to go brown. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, place the other ingredients and add the walnuts. Blend on a high speed until you have the consistency you want: crunchy or smooth butter. Taste the mixture and add more syrup or spice if desired.

Serve with warm toast or bagels.

Nutritional value of Spiced Walnut Butter.

Spiced Walnut Butter(2 tbsp)
Calories(Calories from fat) 258
Sodium 2 g
Total Fat 19 g
Potassium 42.8 mg
Saturated Fat 2 g
Total Carbs 17.4 g
Polyunsaturated 2 g
Dietary Fibre 3.2 g
Monounsaturated 3 g
Sugars 11.9 g
Protein 5 g
Zinc 5.5%
Calcium 4.8%
Manganese 33%
Iron 5% 9.3%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Vanilla Cardamom infused Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

 

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Greek Yoghurt has become my new obsession, especially now that I appreciate its health benefits a bit more. I have always been a lover of yoghurts: my family of 6 was split cleanly down the middle; 3 gulped it down by the gallons, the others couldn’t care less.

I experimented with soya yoghurts and even coconut ones for a while, the latter tasting mega delicious, but at £3 a small pot I couldn’t sustain it for too long. Maybe I’ll experiment a little with making my own…who knows. But in the meantime, this recipe works just fine. If you want to preserve some of the nutrition from the mangoes, you might only want to poach it gently, remove the fruit and then allow the liquid to simmer to a syrup like consistency.

 

Vanilla Cardamom infused Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

 

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Mangoes – cut into large chunks (1 cups)

1 tbsp honey

1 Vanilla Pod

1 cup water

1 cardamom pod – crushed

 

1 cup Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp honey

 

Method

Take the yoghurt and honey, blend together and set aside or place in the fridge to keep cool.

Take the remainder of the ingredients and place them in a pot. Simmer the fruit for 8-10 minutes. You can remove the fruit after 3 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken. Once you have the desired consistency remove the cardamom pod and transfer the fruit to a bowl to cool before serving with the yoghurt.

 

Nutritional Value of Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

Mango Greek Yoghurt Honey(2 tbsp)
Calories(Calories from fat) 107 100 120
Sodium 3 mg 65 mg 1 mg
Total Fat
Potassium 257 mg
Saturated Fat
Total Carbs 28 g 7 g 17 g
Polyunsaturated
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated
Sugars 24 g 7 g 16 g
Protein 1 g 18 g
Vitamin A 25%
Calcium 2% 20%
Vitamin C 76%
Iron 5% 1%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Spring Salad Series: Fennel with “Ranch” Dressing

 

I had a spring in my step last weekend. For the first time in about 5 months or more, the first signs of Spring began to emerge. The most noticeable effect of this glorious beam of sunshine and clear blue skies, is actually waking up happy. Seriously it’s as simple as that: when you have spent the last winter waking up and working and going to sleep practically in the dark, it’s like someone literally flicked a switch on in a dark damp room: suddenly everything is clearer and looks attractive.

London feels like a welcoming place again. Another noticeable change is my appetite. I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot easier to eat and enjoy fresh fruits and salads in the summer than it is in the winter.

Maybe the problem started when we started eating fruits and vegetables out of season, I mean the king of comfort vegetables, Pumpkin just feels better in winter than in the middle of March right? That’s why I thought for this months recipe I would work on a couple of salads that suit the warm crisp air of Spring.

I can’t promise you warmth, but these salads are definitely fresh and crispy. I combined a couple of them in a tortilla wrap with the vegan ranch dressing last night…amazing! I didn’t miss meat or cheese at all.

So here to start the Spring Salads Series off is Fennel. Fennel with its aniseed like flavour is a great source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, folic acid, vitamin C and potassium. It also helps with digestion (particularly that of fat…yay!), stomach cramps and freshens breath.

Fennel Salad

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Servings: 3 Prep time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

2 Fennel bulbs, finely sliced length ways

1 large celery stalk, finely sliced (against the grain, ‘V’ shaped slices)

1/2 Cucumber – shredded

Drizzle of Lemon Juice

1/2 cup Pine Nuts – lightly toasted

Toss all the ingredients together, leaving the pine nuts until last as you want them to retain their crunchy texture. You can then drizzle in the lemon juice or stir in the vegan ranch dressing. As I said great in a wrap or as a side dish.