Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts: An Irresistible (and healthy!) Snack Recipe

 

Have your cake and eat it too with this mouth-watering walnut recipe (see end of text.)

Though this treat seems too sweet and tasty to be good for you, considering how nutrient-dense these nuts are, you’ll be able to enjoy this occasional snack without the guilt.

Walnuts, amongst the oldest tree foods grown by man, are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods. The various nutritional properties of this ancient food make their consumption great for:

An ounce of walnuts contains 2.5g of omega 3 fats, 4g of protein and 2g of fibre that help provide satiety (“feeling full.”) Any successful weight management plan must include satiety factor; so walnut is undoubtedly the right food to consider if you are into a weight management programme.

  • Sleep

Walnuts contain a compound called melatonin, responsible for conveying messages regarding the cycle of light and dark to the body. Since melatonin is already synthesised by the body, consumption of walnuts increases the blood levels of melatonin, thereby inducing sleep.

  • Hair

Walnuts contain biotin (vitamin B7) that helps strengthen hair, reduce hair loss and improve hair growth.

Among all the dietary plants and nuts, walnuts contain the highest amount of antioxidants. Around 100 g of walnuts will give more than 20 mmol antioxidants, which makes them extremely effective in combating heart disease by their ability to destroy free radicals. They are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that lowers bad cholesterol and increases the production of good cholesterol.

All types of nuts are associated with a lowered risk of diabetes and walnuts are no exception. According to a study, women who consumed 28 grams of walnuts twice a week were 24% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition, and even though it was conducted on women, experts believe that the benefits would be similar for men too.

  • Boosting your sperm quality

Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts per day improves semen quality in healthy young men, researchers say. According to a study by UCLA researchers, eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men aged 21 to 35.

You’ve read the benefits – now try the recipe:

Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts

Active: 20 MIN | Total Time: 45 MIN | Servings: Makes about 7 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 pound walnut halves (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds (4 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large, wide saucepan, combine the walnuts, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the sesame seeds, cayenne and salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the water is nearly evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the walnuts are golden brown and sandy, about 4 minutes longer.
  4. Immediately pour the walnuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the nuts are deeply golden and covered with a sandy coating. Let the walnuts cool completely. Break any large clusters apart; transfer to a bowl to serve.

Browse www.simplyhealthygroup.com to view our range of nuts, sugar alternatives and healthy snacks.