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Healthy Options for meals and snacks for busy parents

"The benefits of using Walnut Oil"

By: Kirsty Masterson (Guest Blogger)

Bio Island Walnut Oil

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 

Bio Island Walnut Oil

Ingredients:
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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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

Bio Island Walnut Oil

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!

Ingredients:
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)

Method:

  1. Place Potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Add pinch of salt. Bring to boil for about 10 minutes until tender.
  2. 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.
  3. Drain and Mash potatoes immediately. Add hot milk mixture to mashed potatoes and stir until smooth. Stir in Walnut Oil. Season with pepper.
  4. 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)

Ingredients:
500grams Parsnips
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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

Bio Island Walnut Oil

Ingredients:
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

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. 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.
  3. Use a rolling pin or your fingers to flatten out the bread. Then using a cookie cutter or cup, cut around each slice.
  4. 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.
  5. Lightly oil 6 muffin tin holes, then press the bread into the muffin tin.
  6. Place in the oven for 3 minutes to dry out slightly, then remove from the oven and set aside. 
  7. Whisk together the egg, milk, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. Sprinkle the bacon mixture between the 6 toast cups, then add the cheese.
  9. Pour 2½ tbsp of egg mixture into each cup, then place immediately in the oven to avoid the mixture soaking into bread. 
  10. Bake for 12- 15 minutes until the top is lightly golden and the filling is set.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving, as the filling will need to deflate slightly.
  12. 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)

Bio Island Walnut Oil

Wet Ingredients:

· ½ cup Bio island Lifestyle range Walnut Oil
· ¼ cup honey
· 1 egg
· 1 ½ cups mashed banana
· 1 orange, peeled and chopped finely

Dry Ingredients:
· 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease the muffin pans.
  2. Blend together the walnut oil and sugar. Once combined mix in the egg, banana and orange.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients together and then add them into the wet ingredients.
  4. Place in the muffin pans and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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