DID YOU KNOW? — According to ancient wisdom, the “doctrine of signatures” suggests that foods that look like a body part are medicine for that organ. Did you notice how a walnut looks like our brain and eating just a handful daily improves memory and brain power! But of course modern science has enough research done today to refute some of the claims made in the doctrine. Thankfully, Walnuts, if you are not allergic to them, are a super food for nourishing a super brain.
I am including some recipes here with walnuts to enjoy over the holidays. Raw nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and brain healthy fats. Soaking them for 7-10 hours prior to consuming makes them more digestible and removes some of the Phytates in their skin. You can drain them and dry them left open on a tray or use a dehydrator if you have one. Lightly toast if snacking on them although raw is most nutritious.
NUT GRANOLA - Eat it for breakfast or carry it on a hike or stash it in your office desk for a quick brain boost !
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Cashews
1 cup mixed Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Flax Seeds
1/4 cup Maca Root Powder
3/4 cup Dried Cranberries or Currants
2/3 cup Coconut oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Cinnamon Powder
1 Tsp Nutmeg powder
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
Pre heat the oven to 325F
In a large bowl of the food processor mix all nuts and pulse 3-4 times to break the larger nuts.
Remove to a large mixing bowl and add the seeds. Mix.
Mix together the melted oil, the syrup and all the spices along with the Maca root powder.
Pour this on the nut mixture and toss well to coat everything with the oil and flavorings.
Remove to a lined baking sheet and spread evenly to a single layer. Use two sheets if necessary.
Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove toss and spread once more. Return to oven to bake for a total of 20-25 minutes.
Watch carefully & take care that the nuts do not burn. Cool and store in an airtight container.
For Breakfast : Serve over your favorite yogurt or milk topped with fresh or dried fruits.
Carry with you on your hikes and walks as your favorite trail-mix fuel. Never be hungry at work — when feel tired fuel your brain not just your stomach.
SPINACH, PEAR, WALNUT AND CRANBERRY SALAD WITH A CREAMY LIME YOGURT DRESSING
4 cups Spinach
1 cup Lightly Roasted Walnuts
1 firm Pear, diced
1/2 stalk Celery finely diced
1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
1/2 cup Jicama, diced
1/2 cup sugar free Dried Cranberries or fresh Pomegranate Arils
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1 lime or as per taste
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp Maple syrup if desired
A few sprigs of mint leaves
In a small bowl mix together the dressing. Stir the juice, yogurt, salt pepper and maple syrup if using. Set aside.
Toss vegetables and fruit together. Drizzle the dressing on top just before serving. Top with the walnuts & mint & enjoy.
FETA WALNUT DIP WITH SUN DRIED TOMATOES
1 -1/2 cups Whole Fat Yogurt
1 cup Feta Cheese
1 cup Walnuts
1/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes Without oil, chopped
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 few sprigs of Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients except for the parsley into a food processor and pulse to a rough paste.
Taste for seasoning and garnish with parsley.
Serve with Vegetables or grain free crackers.
WALNUT & HERB CRUSTED SALMON
4 Fillets of Wild Salmon
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Gluten free Panko crumbs, or GF Bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Thyme or 2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
4 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
2 tsp Avocado Oil
Set oven to 400F and pre heat
Finely chop walnuts. Mix with a fork the walnuts, GF crumbs, oil and thyme.
Place Salmon fillets skin side down on the baking sheet and pat dry.
Blend honey and mustard and apply on the Salmon with a brush.
Press the walnut crumbs on top. Make sure you pack it in well.
Bake in the hot oven for 10-12 minutes will fish is all flaky and top is looking browned.
Serve with a salad and some garlic butter tossed vegetables.
You can try this crust with any vegetables — mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant slices or large cauliflower steaks.
Minal Rajan, NTP
Art and Science of Nutrition
For more recipes, visit: www.therapykitchenbyminal.com