My Favourite Healthy California Walnut Snack Recipes – Balance Festival

My Favourite Healthy California Walnut Snack Recipes – Balance Festival

After seeing California Walnuts being harvested on my honeymoon last year I jumped at the chance to work with them on the Food Stage at Balance Festival where I’m presenting TODAY at 1:30pm!

California Walnuts asked me to make two of my favourite healthy snack recipes and I couldn’t wait to share with you what I chose (scroll down for the recipes!).

California walnuts are bursting with wholesome plant-based goodness and they’re naturally nutritious. In addition, thanks to the California sunshine, their tasty golden walnuts are incredibly fresh and deliciously pure, all year round (this means no bitterness!).

[update: what a turn out, thank you to everyone who came to see my cookery demo, you can see a clip in the comments of this Facebook Post below!]

  • The Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts are high in unsaturated, heart healthy fats, and are a rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (known as Alpha-Linolenic Acid or ALA); these are essential fatty acids as our body cannot make them, meaning we must get them from our diet. They are also a source of fibre with a 30g serving (a handful) providing 1.4g.

Packed full of vitamins and minerals including folate, magnesium, manganese and copper, California walnuts are a great plant-based addition to smoothies, salads and snacks too. Eating more ‘plant based’ means bringing plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables and seeds from the sides of our plates to the centre and making them not only present, but the star of the show at meal times.

Plant based diets are good for both the planet and our health too as plant-based diets have been associated with lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and various cancers. Walnuts in particular (30g a day) have been found to improve the elasticity of blood vessels, in addition to promoting optimal blood cholesterol levels.

Do let me know if you make either of these recipes at home!

Apricot and California Walnut Trail Mix

You’ll want to have a constant stash of this delicious nutty trail mix in the cupboard to grab a handful of whenever you’re feeling a little peckish. Jam-packed with yummy ingredients, this snack also makes for a tasty on-the-move snack too; simply decant into a small container or food bag before leaving the house!

Preparation Time: 15 mins | Serves: 12

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g California walnuts 
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 50g toasted coconut flakes 
  • 130g dried apricots (cut into quarters) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, water and vanilla extract.
  3. Into a separate mixing bowl, place the California walnuts, pumpkin seeds and ground flaxseed.
  4. Pour the maple syrup mixture over and toss to evenly coat.
  5. Place the walnut mix onto a lined baking tray in a single layer and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes (rotating the tray 1/2 way through cooking), or until golden brown and fragrant.
  6. Set aside to cool, then mix with the toasted coconut flakes and dried apricot pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition (per 40g serving)

Calories: 197 | Protein: 4g | Carbs: 13.2g | Fat: 15.2g | Fibre: 3.1g

No Bake Carrot & Walnut Cake Bites
These No Bake Carrot & Walnut Cake Bites taste amazing and they contain 100% plant-based healthy ingredients! As well as being packed with vitamin A (thanks to the carrots), healthy fats (thanks to the walnuts) & fibre, these no bake balls taste delicious and are so simple to make even the kids can join in with making them!

Preparation Time: 10 mins | Serves: 16

You’ll need:

  • 9-10 pitted Medjool dates / or soak 200g dried dates in warm water for 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup (70g) walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (70g) ground walnuts
  • 2 (finely) grated carrots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger
  • dash of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp mixed spice (optional)
  • desiccated coconut (optional)
  1. Place the dates, walnuts, ground walnuts, carrots and spices into a food processor and blitz until combined.
  2. Optional; pop the mixture in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up.
  3. Scoop out small handfuls of the mixture & roll it into 14-16 balls, placing them on a plate.
  4. Roll some of them in desiccated coconut (unsweetened) if you like it.
  5. Pop them in the fridge for 15 minutes before enjoying! Keep them chilled between eating.
Nutrition (per ball)
Calories: 87 | Protein: 1.8g | Carbs: 11.6g | Fat: 5.4g | Fibre: 2g

Happy Baking!

*This blog post was written in collaboration with California Walnuts. Please read my disclaimer page for more information about collaborations.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three + 3 =


For healthy recipes & nutrition tips join the Nic's Nutrition newsletter below!