Living a sustainable life means more than recycling, gardening and car pooling. When Jerry and I started on this journey we sat down and talked about what ‘living a sustainable life’ meant to us. After careful thought, and really great discussion, we came to the conclusion that if we wanted to be successful – as in any venture – we would require a firm foundation. Hence, the idea of building blocks was born. We defined our building blocks for a truly sustainable life as; Food, Shelter, Transportation, Energy and Health. Of course there is much more involved, but these building blocks, we decided, are our foundation.
Sustaining your health to be able bodied and ready to do things for yourself is a key component. We are not the poster children for healthy lifestyle…yes, we have a few vices or bad habits…BUT…we do strive to live a healthy lifestyle. One of the challenges I faced (I’m the head cook here!) was finding healthy alternatives for snacking. You can become overwhelmed when you start to research nutrition and begin to sift for truth from fiction. I’ve made up my mind that is all about balance.
When looking for a snack to replace the candy coated chocolates that find their way into the pantry, I had a goal. I wanted to find something Jerry would really like and it would provide a benefit – besides caloric intake. I found it! Walnuts. Studies have shown Walnuts to be heart healthy because of the omega-3 fatty acids they provide. To the extent that the FDA “said walnuts would be considered “new drugs” and as such would require a new drug application to become FDA-approved.”1
I was on a mission. I played around with the recipe until I came up with this yummy treat. I use my dehydrator and keep them on a low temperature so they are technically still ‘raw’, but some people find raw nuts harder to digest and a nice toasting in the oven will work well too. Give these a try and let us know what you think!
1/3 C. Organic Raw Agave
1 Tbl Organic Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ Tbl Carob Powder
1 tsp Vanilla (homemade – extra yummy)
5-6 C Organic Raw Walnuts
Mix the agave, cinnamon, ginger, carob and vanilla in a decent sized bowl. Once blended well, add the walnuts and toss. You want a nice coating on all the nuts – not swimming in it!
This is where you decide…
Spread mixture evenly on a Paraflexx® sheet (parchment paper will work as well) – makes about two trays. Dehydrate them at 105⁰ for approximately 5-6 hours. The timing depends on several factors (humidity, personal preference). We like our Glazed Walnuts to not feel tacky and have a bit of a crunch, but you do whatever suits your tastes.
Spread mixture evenly on a silpat baking mat (parchment paper will work as well) – makes about 1 large cookie sheet. Toast them at 200⁰ for 20-30 minutes. Again, this is a personal preference. Just keep a close eye on them if you use the oven.