Good For You Friday: Crunchy Maple Mesquite Walnuts


Happy Friday!  I hope you made it through the week unscathed by Juno.  We went down to Anna Maria Island, FL to visit my cute snow-bird parents for a few days and had such a great time catching up.  (Sooo, apparently, a road trip that takes childless people 7.5 hours takes those with children 9 – ouch.)

Because I always set out on vacation with the best of healthy-eating-intentions, I made a few of the snack recipes from Dr. Alejandro Junger’s new book, Clean Eats (I am beyond obsessed with this book, by the way) to bring with us on the road.  SO.  GOOD.  You’ve got to try this one for Crunchy Maple Mesquite Walnuts.  The flavor reminds me of a chocolate chip cookie – they seem so indulgent, but are totally Clean and you only need a few to be satisfied.  Not only are they great to grab and go, having them in the pantry would make it easy to dress up a not-so-interesting salad.

|Crunchy Maple Mesquite Walnuts| (makes one pound)

  • 1 pound raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons mesquite meal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut nectar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place the walnuts into a large bowl then toss with the mesquite meal, vanilla bean powder or extract, cinnamon, allspice, clove, salt, and coconut nectar, until they are evenly coated.
  3. Spread the nuts in a parchment-lined baking dish and slowly roast the walnuts for about 30 minutes. (WARNING: mine were perfectly done after 1o minutes, so be careful!!!)  Keep checking on them every 10 minutes so they do not burn. The walnuts are ready when they are golden brown and crisp. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  4. Store them in an airtight container for up to one month.

Note: My local Whole Foods did not have Mesquite Meal/Powder, so I ordered it here, on Amazon.  So, WTF is Mesquite Meal?  Well, I’d never heard of it before either, so I did a little research: It is a low-glycemic, nutrient dense, sweet super-food made from the entire pod of the mesquite tree.  It is an ancient traditional food used for millennia by the native tribes of North and South America.  The flavor is malty, caramel-tinted smoky sweetness.  Yum.

A few pics from our trip:

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Bucket hats and sand castles were a big hit.
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My beach babes 🙂
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The Bouillabaisse at Beach Bistro is so good, the wait staff literally forces you to wear a napkin tucked into your collar. It was good advice.