Friday, February 12, 2010

Heart Healthy Treat

Happy Friday!

Here's a quick little recipe that's heart healthy an
d yummy as you may be looking forward to a lovey-dovey Valentine's Day soon ;-)

Spiced Walnut Truffles

2 c walnuts
1 c raisins (or chopped dates)
1/4 c agave (or honey or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

cacao powder for dusting

The happy truffle couple!

In a food processor, process walnuts into a flour-like powder. Then add the remaining items. Blend it all up until you have a crumbly dough that will stick together when smooshed. I like to leave it unprocessed enough that there are little raisin bits in it. If you over process it, you may need to chill or lightly freeze the dough to make it more workable.

Form into little balls (makes about 30) and then roll in the cacao powder. - though Dave enjoyed popping them plain! Or you can roll in other items you may prefer - hemp seeds, shredded coconut, dust of spices, cacao nibs... Or for a bigger splurge, melt some organic chocolate bars (70% of higher cacao, please!) and dip them for the chocolate indulgence. Ahhhh, heaven!

These will freeze well for several months, or even keep in the fridge for a while. Pull 3-4 out of the freezer and let them thaw a little in the fridge (frozen raisin bits are not pleasant on the teeth!) Don't thaw too many, or you just may eat them all at once! ;-)

In addition to their fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin E, walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids than other nuts, and a good source of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)! Omegas and MUFAs are heart healthy, providing protective benefits against cardiovascular problems, help with blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. They are also an anti-inflammatory that may help asthma, arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. These little guys also contain ellagic acid which may help the immune system and be a cancer fighter.

And what do walnuts look like? Little brains! And guess what? Walnuts are good for brain functioning! Your brain has a high amount of structural fats in it, and omega-3 fats are very important in helping keep neurons firing efficiently.

Another cool perk of walnuts is they’re a natural source of melatonin. This hormone may help with a better night’s rest. Ahhh, sleep.

Good little walnut soldiers, all in rows! :)

Ok, I digress – I wanted to focus on hearth health benefits of walnuts for the holiday; but walnuts just have so much goodness! So, keep enjoying those omega-rich nuts in moderation! Roll out some truffles, toss a batch in the freezer to keep on hand for later, and enjoy a cozy weekend!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie...This is a wonderful recipe! They make a perfect, healthy travel snack. Thanks so much:)