Friday, April 23, 2010

Walnut Cluster Snack - fiber, protein, carbs in a single, healthy snack

I love nuts, and am always delighted to find new ways to use them, so when the good folks at California Walnuts sent along this recipe for Walnut Cluster Snack I immediately sensed something good.

They describe them as "clusters of crunchy oats and walnuts baked with tender dried fruit." I'm not crazy about figs, so I'm going to try them with dates...I'll let you know how that turns out.

(Also check out How to get a bikini body - 5 tips from fitness pro Petra Kolber that include motivational tips and info about the healthy properties of California Walnuts).

Walnut Cluster Snack

Vegetable oil spray
3 cups quick-cooking oats
½ cup oat bran
¾ cup coarsely chopped California walnuts
White of 1 egg
¾ cup apricot nectar
½ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9-ounce package dried figs (Mission or Calimyrna preferred), quartered (about 1½ cups)
6-ounce package dried cranberries (about 1 1/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray.

1. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, oat bran, and walnuts.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Stir in the apricot nectar, maple syrup, walnut oil, and vanilla.

3. Pour over the oat mixture, stirring until moistened.

4. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Break up the mixture into small pieces or clusters. Return the clusters to the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Put the pan on a cooling rack. Stir in the figs and cranberries. Cool thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container. To serve, put ½-cup portions in snack-size bags or foil muffin cups. Or, portion into decorative bags and tie with colorful ribbon for a healthy and tasty gift.

Mixture will keep in airtight containers up to 1 week. (Freezing is not recommended.)

Serves 16; ½ cup per serving

Nutrition information per serving: 214 calories, 6g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein

You might also like: The Blueberry Jicama Fruit Salad

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