Healthy Options for meals and snacks for busy parents
"The benefits of using Walnut Oil"
By: Kirsty Masterson (Guest Blogger)
I don’t know about you, but as a busy parent I’m always on the lookout for healthy options for the family – dinner, snacks, you name it!
I’ve recently discovered the wonderful benefits of Walnut Oil; this oil contains a rich source of healthy polyunsaturated omegas 3,6 & 9 making it a lighter diet option with beautiful full flavour and taste. I particularly like the Bio Island Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Walnut Oil which is made using 100% Australian walnuts and is made traditionally by the cold pressing method to retain all those wonderful nutrients to retain the purity of the oil. Being produced and made with 100% Australian ingredients is highly appealing to me when it comes to my family and was really impressed with the quality of the Bio Island Walnut Oil. This oil has a lovely light nutty flavour and is vegan friendly and free from all those nasty additives, preservatives and GMO’s, making it perfect for everyone in your home- infants, children, teens, adults and pregnant women!
Here’s a few recipes I’ve been whipping of late up using Bio Island Walnut Oil for the family – they've been well received by the kids and husband AND EATEN!
Avocado, Pancetta and Walnut Salad
Perfect for larger families, growing teens or when entertaining! It's a definite favourite in our house
(Serves 6) Time: 20 mins, Grading: Easy
Source: Bio Island
50g walnuts, whole
12 slices Pancetta
2 Tbsp. Bio Island Lifestyle Range Walnut Oil
6 Avocados, stoned, peeled and quartered (I used 3 as that’s all I had at home and it was fine!)
4 handfuls of baby spinach, washed
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Fry the pancetta slices in a frying pan until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, lightly toast the walnuts.
- Make the dressing by combining the balsamic vinegar with walnut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure that your dressing is balanced and add a little more oil or vinegar if desired. On serving plates lay out the avocado. Sprinkle over the spinach leaves, pancetta and toasted walnuts.
- Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle over your dressing. This delicious Summer salad is great accompanied with some warm crusty bread.
Mashed Potato with Walnut Oil – A large Family Serve
I’ve found this much lighter for a mashed potato which was great. Not as heavy as we usually have, which is a real positive coming in to winter!
3 or 4 large potatoes – peeled and cut into 5cm chunks
Pinch of salt
¾ cup of milk
I tablespoon of butter – room temperature
Pepper – to taste
3 tablespoons of Bio Island Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Walnut Oil
(plus 1 extra tablespoon to drizzle at the end)
- Place Potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Add pinch of salt. Bring to boil for about 10 minutes until tender.
- While potatoes are on the boil, combine milk and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until steaming (not boiling). Remove from heat.
- Drain and Mash potatoes immediately. Add hot milk mixture to mashed potatoes and stir until smooth. Stir in Walnut Oil. Season with pepper.
- Just before serving, drizzle with extra Walnut Oil and Season with salt if required.
Parsnip Fries – Paleo & Vegan-Friendly!
Serves 4-6 (Source: Bio Island)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1.5 Tablespoons Walnut Oil
½ teaspoon raw Honey
2 Garlic cloves
½ teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix the olive oil and walnut oil together in a bowl. Smash the garlic cloves with the blunt edge of a knife and add it to the oils. This can be done the night before to allow garlic to infuse with oil.
- Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Peel the parsnips and cut into fries into shoestrings – around ½ cm thick. Strain the garlic from the oils, and add the honey to the oils along with salt and pepper. Then toss the parsnips in the bowl with the mixture evenly coated.
- Spread the parsnips out on a baking sheet in a single layer and Bake the parsnip fries for 25-35 minutes, turning once or twice, or until they are tender and crisp.
Mini Quiche Cups Recipe
Perfect for Breakfast, Lunch boxes and snacks! I double this recipe for my family.
Serves: 3 (2 cups each), Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 15 mins (Source: Bio Island)
6 slices sandwich bread
2 medium sized eggs
? cup milk
1 rasher of bacon, rind removed, diced (50g)
1 tsp Bio Island Walnut Oil
¼ onion, finely diced
? cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Add 1 tsp Bio Island Walnut oil into a small frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and bacon to sauté until bacon is crisp (about 2 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Use a rolling pin or your fingers to flatten out the bread. Then using a cookie cutter or cup, cut around each slice.
- Cut each round in half, then press two halves into each muffin cup, the halves will overlap slightly. Make use of any extra bread by patching up any gaps.
- Lightly oil 6 muffin tin holes, then press the bread into the muffin tin.
- Place in the oven for 3 minutes to dry out slightly, then remove from the oven and set aside.
- Whisk together the egg, milk, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the bacon mixture between the 6 toast cups, then add the cheese.
- Pour 2½ tbsp of egg mixture into each cup, then place immediately in the oven to avoid the mixture soaking into bread.
- Bake for 12- 15 minutes until the top is lightly golden and the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving, as the filling will need to deflate slightly.
- Serve warm and garnish with extra parsley if desired.
Banana Honey-Walnut Muffins
Prep time: 10mins, Cook time: 10-15mins. Servings: 12-14 (Source: Bio Island)
· ½ cup Bio island Lifestyle range Walnut Oil
· ¼ cup honey
· 1 egg
· 1 ½ cups mashed banana
· 1 orange, peeled and chopped finely
· ¼ cup brown sugar
· 2 cups Self raising flour (1 plain & 1 whole meal)
· 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
· ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
· ½ teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease the muffin pans.
- Blend together the walnut oil and sugar. Once combined mix in the egg, banana and orange.
- Combine the dry ingredients together and then add them into the wet ingredients.
- Place in the muffin pans and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.