I needed to make something that would fit in with the current season. The summer is ending all too quickly and the temperatures are dropping, suggesting that fall is just around the corner. But while it’s too early to eat truly seasonal fall vegetables like pumpkin and squash, it’s never too early or late for nuts! So I made some maple roasted nuts on the weekend to give myself something flavorful and healthy to snack on while I wait for my local health store to stock up on fall foods.

The nuts mix includes pecans, walnuts, and chia seeds. All of them have plenty of omega 3 fatty acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. This is what makes this a great snack for athletes who need to prevent muscle inflammation if they want their bodies to recover properly after working out.

I should warn you that some of the chia seeds probably will end up sticking to the surface of your baking dish instead of the nuts. Yes, this is frustrating but there are always ways to salvage them. I usually scrape them off using a rubber spatula to use later in other recipes. Chia seeds can be easily added to any salad, pancakes, or even roasted veggies!

Nutrients in this recipe

Walnuts are often considered to be the nut that has the most health benefits. They have a high omega 3 fatty acids content, plenty of fiber and healthy fats. Walnuts also have more antioxidants than any other nut and a lot of vitamin E. They protect against heart disease and support properly functioning metabolism while also reducing inflammation.

Pecans are probably my favorite type of nut due to their rich flavor. Beside omega 3 fatty acids, they are very rich in other nutrients as well, especially in vitamin B1, copper, zing, and magnesium.

Chia seeds provide a lot of omega 3 fatty acids and one more nutrient that isn’t commonly found in vegan diet: calcium. They also have a lot of manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Chia seeds also contain plenty of fiber (almost all of the carbs in chia seeds are actually fiber!) and protein. It’s hard to imagine a more powerful super food!

Maple syrup is a very good source of natural sugar as long as you use it in moderation. 100% pure organic maple syrup contains various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. It even has over 26 of different antioxidant compounds.

Cinnamon contains a substance called cinnamaldehyde which is where most of its beneficial properties come from. Cinnamon provides plenty of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also lowers the risk of heart disease and improves blood circulation. Latest studies indicate that cinnamon can also play a role in lowering blood sugar which is important for diabetics.

  1. J Agric Food Chem 2011 Jul 27;59(14):7708-16. Further investigation into maple syrup yields 3 new lignans, a new phenylpropanoid, and 26 other phytochemicals. Li L, Seeram NP.
  2. Diabetes Care 2003 Dec;  26(12): 3215-18. Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. A Khan, M Safdar, M Ali Khan, K Khattak, R Anderson

Maple Roasted Nuts with Chia Seeds

Necessary equipment:

  • a medium mixing bowl
  • a baking dish
  • aluminum foil, preferably recycled
  • a cooling rack

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw walnuts
  • 3/4 cup of raw pecans
  • 1 1/2 T. of chia seeds
  • 3 T. of organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 T. of vanilla extract
  • 2 t. of cinnamon powder
  • 1 t. of pumpkin pie spice
  • optional: a dash of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Halve the walnuts and put them in a medium-sized bowl together with pecans.
  3. Pour in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Use a fork or any other tool to stir and coat the nuts thoroughly.
  4. Add in the chia seeds and cinnamon, stir again.
  5. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.
  6. Spread out the coated nuts onto the foil. Make sure to get all of the liquid out of the bowl.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes. Stir the nuts every 10 minutes or so.
  8. Take out of the oven and leave to cook for at least 10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!