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THIS addition to your summer snacking is delicious and amazing​ for heart health too!

In the lead up to the peak Summer/Christmas entertaining season, it's time for a change to my snack routine to make the best of the produce in abundance.

My new obsession: freshly cracked Australian walnuts.

The perfect solo serve: 30g of walnuts equals about 9 walnut kernels or 5 walnuts in shell if you love cracking your own.

What's so great about walnuts?

  • They're a rich source of healthy Omega 3 fats, which can help reduce inflammation around the body.
  • They offer a good source of plant-based protein (14g protein per 100g)
  • They're rich in antioxidants to fight nasty free radicals
  • Walnuts may help with weight management. I find that because the fat is a slow-burn energy source, I'm satiated for longer = less calorie intake overall.

Walnuts are easily distinguished as the nut that looks like the brain, and
have always been thought of as a ‘brain food’. 

Snacking ideas to get more walnuts in your day:

Salted date, walnut and banana ice cream

Serves 4

  • 6 large frozen bananas (be sure you've peeled them first!)
  • 1 tbsp + 4 tsp Australian walnut butter
  • 4 tbsp crushed Australian walnuts
  • 4 fresh dates, diced
  • Pinch sea salt flakes

- Blend the frozen bananas with a high-powered blender until it reaches the consistency of soft-serve.

- Add the tablespoon of walnut butter and pulse quickly before serving into 4 bowls.

- Top with crushed walnuts, dates and an extra drizzle of walnut butter.

- Sprinkle over salt and enjoy immediately before it melts!

Walnut + Banana Rice Cakes

Serves 1-2 as a snack.

  • 2 rice cakes
  • 2 tsp walnut butter
  • 1/2 large banana, sliced
  • Pinch sea salt flakes, to taste
  • Crushed Australian walnuts and black chia seeds to garnish

Spread the nut butter across the rice cakes, top with sliced banana, sprinkle over salt, chia and walnuts. Devour!

Other ways to get walnuts in your diet:

Stir them into oats for breakfast with a drizzle of local honey

Mix them into homemade muffins or try using walnut meal / flour.

Add them to your favourite pesto recipe

Make walnut butter and dip in apple slices

Enjoy with plain yoghurt for a delicious snack or dessert.

Buying and storage tips

Look for crisp, plump kernels of Australian Origin. The light-skinned are delicious for eating and the dark-skinned ones are perfect for baking. If buying whole walnuts (in the shell), select ones free from cracks and holes. To keep nuts in the best condition, store them in an airtight container in the freezer - this goes for all nuts, and where you'll find all of mine stashed! It keeps them super crunchy and the healthy fats in top condition. You can of course also keep them in the fridge or pantry too!

What's your favourite way to enjoy walnuts? Leave me your ideas in the comments below!

Sal xo

Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).

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