I love to experiment with snack recipes that combine unique flavor profiles and creative pairings of ingredients. Truly one of my favorites, this particular snack is now requested often as a strategic snack for meetings. Even if your time in the kitchen is limited, this can be prepared quickly (great recovery break - takes 5 min. prep, 20 min. in the oven). I listed the nutritional highlights of the ingredients to share how it aligns wonderfully with what you need in your high performance nutrition.
Spiced Nuts and Seeds (16 servings of 178 calories each)
3 cups (330 grams) whole nuts (raw varieties best)
1/4 cup (55 grams) dry quinoa (S. American whole grain)
1/4 cup (40 grams) flax seeds
1/4 cup (40 grams) sunflower seeds
2 tbsp (43 grams) honey
1 ½ tsp (approx 8ml) each of sea salt, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper
2 egg whites
Step 1: In a bowl, mix egg whites, honey and spices. Toss in the variety of nuts, quinoa, and flaxseeds.
Step 2: Spread a single layer of the mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 325° F (approx. 165°C) until dry, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Scrape from the pan while cooking, to keep the mixture from sticking. Let cool and store in a sealed container for freshness.
Quinoa and nuts - provide a great balance of complex carbohydrates and protein for steady blood glucose levels. Steady blood glucose is a key component of Tignum's Sustainable High Performance nutrition strategies. It is critical for optimal brain function (especially focus and concentration), combats energy dips, and supports metabolism for good weight control. Rich in B vitamins and minerals essential for immune health and energy production.
Flaxseeds – a good source of healthy fats (i.e. Omega-3 fatty acids), which are essential for immune health and overall well-being. Nuts/seeds contain these healthy fats too, just in smaller quantity.
Cinnamon– a spice known to help control proper insulin levels and steady blood glucose. Promising research shows it nourishes the pancreas, a key organ for energy, balance, and digestion.
Cumin and cayenne – spices known in ancient cultures to add heat in the body, thus fueling optimal metabolism and supporting digestion. Current research indicates they show promise for immune system support, kidney and liver function, and cancer protection.
Honey - contains ample supply of B vitamins and immune-supportive nutrients. (If you can buy local, even better. Local honey provides key nutritive compounds to help with seasonal allergy relief.)
By Patti Milligan
Director of Nutrition