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Healthy & zesty!

Protein powered foods to keep you going

Protein is all the rage, and here's why: It helps keep you fuller for longer, helping to fight the urge to snack all day long and also providing fuel for your workouts. And a fun fact?

Besides being a rich source of dietary fiber, magnesium and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are a great source of protein and can add the necessary nutrients into the diet of vegetarians and people limiting their animal product consumption. Another reason to add this amazing nut to your daily routine, here's an easy recipe you may want to try out right away.

Blueberry protein walnut breakfast bars

Ingredients

Base:

1 cup walnuts

2 cups oats

1/4 cup plant-based vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumble:

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup California walnuts chopped finely

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup coconut milk

Preparations

Base:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C.

2. Line bottom and sides of 9x9 square baking dish with two pieces of parchment paper. Place parchment paper in opposite directions for easy removal.

3. Add all the ingredients for the base to your food processor and process on high until fully broken down and the mixture is doughy.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer with a spatula.

5. Bake for 8 minutes.

Crumble:

1. Add all the ingredients for the crumble to a bowl and mix.

2. Remove the baking dish from the oven, top with the crumble mixture into an even layer pressing the mixture gently into the crust.

3. Bake another 12 minutes in the oven.

4. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 30 minutes prior to lifting the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper. Slice into 12 bars.

5. Store bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Plant-based eating

Another trend that is going to be in vogue this year is plant-based eating that simply means choosing a diet rich in fruits, veggies and plant-based foods like walnuts that will help ward off chronic diseases and keep you svelte in 2019 and years to come. Incorporating walnuts into meals and snacks is a simple, tasty and convenient way to help ensure adequate protein intake, especially among vegetarians. Considering the nutrients found in them, 28 gm or a handful is an easy way to improve your nutrient intake.

Walnut raspberry salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 tablespoons of preserved raspberries

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

1/3 cup slivered red onions

170 gm fresh raspberries

1/2 cup coarsely chopped and toasted walnuts

Preparation

1. In a large bowl whisk together preserved raspberries, oil and vinegar. Then season with salt and pepper.

2. Add spinach and onion and toss gently to coat with the dressing. Add fresh raspberries and walnuts and toss very lightly again. Serve immediately.

Health rules the table

With more and more people leaning towards healthy living, power-packed nutritious meals are going to be a hit this year. You would definitely want to add to your platter ingredients that are not only appealing to your taste buds but also good for your body. Rich in essential nutrients like fibre, minerals and vitamins - superfoods like walnuts add the goodness of health and taste into your everyday dishes. Toasted, caramelised or simply raw, they are good to go, whichever way you want.

Toasted walnut hummus

Ingredients

1/2 cup California walnuts

3 tablespoons walnut oil

1 garlic clove, quartered

350 gm can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

1. Toast walnuts in 170°C oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

2. Combine toasted walnuts with oil and garlic and puree in food processor or blender until smooth.

3. Add chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, salt and pepper and continue to blend to an even, smooth consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

4. Serve hummus in a small serving bowl alongside toasted pita bread or with a variety of colorful raw vegetables.

-Naaznin Husein, Founder Freedom Wellness Management and an eminent Dietitian

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