Caramelised Cinnamon Walnuts
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…
- Quick and easy
- Five simple ingredients
- Full of omega 3s, vitamin E, antioxidants, protein, and healthy plant-based fats
- Low in sugar, and
- Will elevate your meals from average to amazing
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…
- Crushed over fresh fruit salad with coconut yoghurt, coconut cream or my Coconut Cashew Chia Cream here
- Added to a simple garden salad with roasted beetroot, red onion and a balsamic dressing
- Sprinkled over my Raw Beetroot Salad here, or as one of the key components of my Ultimate Salad Bowls here
- Served as part of a cheese board (try them with my dairy free Cashew Cheese recipe here)
- As a garnish on your favourite dessert (they go especially well on top of my Chocolate Raspberry Tart here)
- Scattered over your morning muesli (delicious on my Chia Bircher Muesli here)
- As a simple and easy afternoon tea snack with a hot cuppa and piece of fruit
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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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Caramelised Cinnamon Walnuts
- 3 c walnuts soaked 4 hours or overnight
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Soak your walnuts for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Drain and rinse well, until all the colour has come out (this removes the bitterness and phytate nutrient inhibitors). Shake and drain well - I normally leave them in the sink for 5-10 minutes to drain out while doing something else, otherwise you can dab them with a tea towel to dry (this will speed up your dehydrating/baking time). You still want a bit of moisture on them so the cinnamon mixture will stick.
- Add in a bowl with the cinnamon, vanilla powder, coconut sugar and sea salt, and stir for a good minute until all of the walnuts are well covered and there is no more cinnamon mix in the bottom of the bowl.
- To dehydrate, place the walnut mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet (teflon/silicon or regular baking paper), and dry for 12-24 hours at 41°C (106°F) until they’re super crunchy to bite. To oven bake, place in a single layer on an oven tray and fan bake for 12-15 minutes at 150°C (302°F) until just crunchy and dry.
- Leave to cool completely until they're fully dry and crunchy, then place in a glass jar in the fridge in hot weather, or in your cupboard if it’s relatively cool.
- These are only just subtly sweet, which is how I like them - most caramelised nuts you find are doused in sugar. If you'd prefer a slightly sweeter option however, you can increase the coconut sugar to 3 or 4 tablespoons.
- These also work really well with hazelnuts, simply sub out the walnuts in the same quantities.
- It’s important to wait until these are completely cool before pouring into a glass jar. If they are still warm, the moisture will be trapped inside the jar and make them go slightly soft (which you don’t want!).
- These will happily store in the fridge or a cool cupboard in a tightly sealed glass jar for a few months. Note that all nuts (and seeds) are best used as fresh as possible, as over time their oils will oxidise. By drying them out (via dehydration or roasting) until they’re completely dry and crunchy, we can minimise this as much as possible so it’s worth waiting that little bit longer til they’re truly done.
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