Happy New Year! Hope you've had an amazing time away with family and friends. We’re still in Matarangi and the weather is simply stunning. We spent our first week just relaxing here with Tony’s mum, sister and partner and their kids, and Mila’s great granny. I feel so grateful that she gets to connect with not just four grandparents, but two great grandparents as well. Like many of us, I had only two (and one died fairly early on), so I know she’s a pretty lucky lady. She's been making the most of it, getting up to all sorts of sandpit/vege garden/paddling pool/slip and slide mischief with her Baba (Croatian for grandma) and Great Granny.
We’ve been interspersing our relaxation days with some amazing day trips - so far Whangapoua, New Chums Beach, and Opito Bay. If you haven’t been to this part of the world I totally recommend it - January and February is so gorgeous here, and I honestly think our beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. When I first went to Europe I was shocked to see so much rubbish on the beaches, as well as back to back sun loungers - we have none of that here! I feel so lucky to call this little country my home.
Onto this week’s recipe, these delicious Caramelised Cinnamon Walnuts are one of my favourite snacks to have in the cupboard. People often ask me what I recommend for quick and easy meals, and what I’ve learnt over the years is that having a delicious homemade dressing (you can find some of my favourites in our blog recipe index here), some roasted or raw veggies, cooked grains or beans, and a few jars of deliciously flavoured nuts and seeds like these ones, makes all the difference. You can quickly elevate a simple salad by tossing through some leftover roast vege or brown rice, drizzling over a delicious creamy dressing, and sprinkling the lot with some crunchy nuts or seeds. Add some fresh herbs, some avo, olives, capers or dried fruit, and you have an incredible tasting and nutrient dense meal with pretty minimal effort.
These Caramelised Cinnamon Walnuts are one of my favourite salad toppers to have on hand (I shared another, these Tamari Sesame Almonds with Seaweed, a few weeks back here). Think…
Once you’ve made a batch of these, keep them in a glass jar in the fridge or a cool cupboard ready to deploy. I love using them on top of both sweet and savoury dishes - here are a few of my favourite ways to get you started…
If you have a dehydrator like me (I use this black 9 tray Excalibur with the clear door here), I recommend dehydrating these for 12-24 hours at 41°C (106°F) until they’re super crunchy to bite. Leave to cool then put in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge in hot weather, or in your cupboard if it’s quite cool.
If not, you can easily bake them in the oven - I recommend a slightly lower temperature to retain as much of the omega 3 essential fatty acids and vitamin E from the walnuts, and antioxidants from the cinnamon as possible. 150°C (302°F) for 12 minutes on fan bake normally works well, or up to 15 minutes depending on your oven.
If you’re interested in learning more about the incredible antioxidant benefits of cinnamon, I've written about this lovely spice before in my White Chocolate Christmas Cake recipe here. Walnuts meanwhile are one of my all time favourite sources of plant-based omega 3s, which I’ve talked about previously in my Walnut Choc Chunk Cookie recipe here.
If you make these easy 5-ingredient Caramelised Cinnamon Walnuts, I’d love to hear what you think, and how you end up using them! Leave me a comment below, take a pic and tag me over on Instagram (use both @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics in the main caption so I don’t miss you). Or share your image over on my Facebook page here.
Back to the sun for me and our family of three. It’s 7pm but still brilliantly sunny outside so we’re going to take a quick walk down the beach (and a dip if we’re feeling brave). While the sun is warm here, the water is still pretty darn cold, so I’m not sure we’ll make it head under but we’ll see!
Have a great rest of your week, a beautiful relaxing weekend, and til next week, stay happy and well.
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Makes 3 cups
Takes 5 minutes (+ overnight to soak and 24 hours to dehydrate/12 min to bake)
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