Saturday, 4 January 2014

Nutty Fruity Cinnamon Crunch

This yummy recipe is quick and easy to make, and makes a big batch which lasts for ages. It is a Cinnamon Crunch which is chock full of nuts, seeds and dried fruits. It is ideal for a quick snack on the go, or you can add almond milk, coconut milk or coconut yogurt and make a nourishing and filling breakfast. There is no added sweetener - the sweetness comes from the dried fruits and the orange juice that you add before toasting. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and using only natural fruit sugars, this moreish concoction will be a welcome addition to your pantry.

When embarking on a clean-eating lifestyle, one of the biggest areas where it can be difficult to come up with ideas is when the need for a snack strikes. I like to keep a big tub of nutty mix such as the one in this recipe, a big jar of coconut butter and a big jar of almond butter when I need a quick bite on the run, and in the fridge I try to keep a couple of container with pre-cut carrot and celery sticks to grab in a hurry, as well as a few hard boiled eggs. A well stocked fruit bowl is also a must as it is easy to grab an apple on the way out the door if you don't have time for a meal. All of these snack ideas take only a few minutes of preparation once a week, but can be a lifesaver particularly on those busy days when it can be hard to find time to prepare a more elaborate breakfast, lunch or snack. All of the ideas above are also easy to take with you when you need something out and about.

A little bit crunchy, a little bit chewy, packed full of flavor and bursting with goodness.

Nutty Fruity Cinnamon Crunch

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and using only natural fruit sweeteners

1 cup raw cashew nuts
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup coconut chips (I use Ceres Organic available from the supermarket)
1 cup dried dates, roughly chopped
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (again, I use Ceres Organic, as most other brands have preservatives added)
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon spice mix (I used the spice mix I had in the cupboard from making this pumpkin pie, but you could just use cinnamon alone, or make up your own blend to suit your tastes)
Juice of 2 oranges (or half a cup of orange juice if you do not have fresh oranges available)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1. Preheat oven to 150C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the nuts. Lay a large, clean tea towel on your bench, pour the combined nuts onto the tea towel and wrap them up. Using something heavy such as a rolling pin, bash the nuts a couple of times to break them up roughly. They do not all have to be broken, and they do not have to be the same size - it is great when there are different sized chunks in your mix!
3. Pour the broken nuts back into the bowl, add the dried fruit and seeds.
4. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and coconut oil with the cinnamon. Mix well to combine
5. Pour the orange juice mixture over the nuts and mix very well to ensure an even coating.
6. Spread the nuts out on the baking tray in one even layer.
7. Place baking tray in the oven and toast for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crunchy. Keep a close eye on the nuts, and stir often to ensure even browning.