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Smart Snacking: Walnut Cluster Snack Recipe

walnut-snack-585Earlier this week, I expounded on my love of almonds as a snack. Now I’m switching gears—and nuts—to bring you a recipe for a healthy walnut snack, courtesy of Petra Kolber, fitness expert for California Walnuts and the star of this highly rated workout DVD. These clusters of crunchy oats and walnuts baked with dried fruit make a great snack on the go!

Walnut Cluster Snack

Vegetable oil spray
3 c quick-cooking oats
½ c oat bran
¾ c coarsely chopped California walnuts
1 egg white
¾ c apricot nectar
½ c maple syrup
2 tsp walnut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
9-ounce package dried figs (Mission or Calimyrna preferred), quartered (about 1½ c)
6-ounce package dried cranberries (about 1 1/3 c)

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with vegetable oil spray.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, oat bran and walnuts.

3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Stir in the apricot nectar, maple syrup, walnut oil and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture, stirring until moistened. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Break up the mixture into small pieces or clusters. Return the clusters to the pan.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. Put the pan on a cooling rack. Stir in the figs and cranberries. Cool thoroughly.

6. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. (Freezing is not recommended). To serve, put 16 ½-cup portions in snack-size bags or foil muffin cups.

Each serving has 214 calories, 6 g fat, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein, 8 mg sodium and 39 total carbs. Not bad for an afternoon snack! Enjoy! —Erin

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