‘Tiny but mighty, nuts and seeds deliver protein, fibre and a nutrient punch with every bite’ Havard Health.
Nuts are actually the seeds of plants with most coming from trees. However, peanuts are the seeds of a legume.
Sesame seeds have been cultivated for well over 5000 years. The tiny, oil-rich seeds grow in pods on the ‘Sesamum indicum’ plant. Sesame seeds may protect against heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. However, you need to eat significant amounts — a handful per day — to gain these health benefits.
Pumpkin seeds—or pepitas—are flat and dark green with a chewy texture and a subtle sweet, nutty flavour. In Mexico, pepitas are often ground and used to thicken sauces. Eating only a small amount can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy oils, magnesium and zinc.
Contrary to popular belief, the macadamia is native to Queensland — not Hawaii — and was named after the Australian chemist who promoted its cultivation. High in the unsaturated ‘good oils’ and protein, they are also an excellent source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B and E and fibre.
Walnuts are one of the oldest sources of food known to man. They contain 52 to 70 per cent oil and more than 90 per cent of this is unsaturated. They’re also high in omega-3, protein, minerals and fibre and have been found to help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
WALNUT, GOAT’S CHEESE & PEAR BRUSCHETTA
A simple and fabulous flavour bite for lunch.
1 small pear, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 slices grain bread, lightly toasted
selection of baby salad leaves
50g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped lightly toasted walnuts
1/4 cup microgreens
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sprinkle the pear slices with lemon juice. Place the toast on a serving platter or board. Top with the salad leaves, pear slices, goat’s cheese and walnuts. Garnish with microgreens and back pepper. Serves 2-3.
1/2 cup raw sugar
4 tablespoons honey
150g pumpkin (pepita) seeds
1 breakfast (wheat) biscuit or similar, crushed
3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup each: rolled oats, self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease and line the sides and base of a 20cm cake pan with baking paper.
Melt the butter, raw sugar and honey together in a saucepan on low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter mixture and stir until well mixed. Tip the mixture into the lined pan. With a rubber spatula, press the mixture down firmly and evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes 12 bars.
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup each: sesame seeds, finely chopped parsley, long thread coconut
4 x 150g skinned and boned chicken breasts or 2 x 300g breasts, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
Sauce: 1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons each: lemon juice, light soy sauce
Dissolve the brown sugar in the lemon juice. Add the egg, sesame seeds, parsley and coconut. Pat evenly over the top of the chicken. Chill for 1 hour to allow the coating to set.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Pan-fry the chicken, crust-side down for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until the crust is golden.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, crust-side up. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cooked.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce and serve with the chicken. Serves 4.