I love to create these healthy nut clusters when I host one of my monthly healthy lunches (message me if you’d like to join me at one of them) or when I have friends coming round. They’re super simple, taste amazing and create a really healthy snack.
I make a sweet and savoury batch using the same basic date mix at the same time but you can halve the dates if you just want to make one batch.
120g dates pitted – makes a batch of each
Sweet Spiced Nuts
150g walnuts or pecans chopped
1 tsp mixed spice
50g dried cranberries, goji berries or blueberries
50g candied peel or crystalised ginger
Grind of Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Savoury Spiced Nuts
40g dried apricots chopped
75g pumpkin seeds
75g pistachio nuts chopped
75g almonds chopped
1/8 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
Grind of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablesp tomato puree
Juice of 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
Place the dates and water in a pan and heat to boiling point. Remove from the heat and cover and set aside for 30 mins while you measure out the nuts etc into separate bowls.
Mix all the ingredients for each batch into the separate bowls.
Blend the dates in a food processor or nutri-bullet. Divide into two and mix one portion into the sweet spiced nuts. Add the tomato puree and ginger juice to the other half of the dates and blend again. Stir the dates into the nuts and seeds to coat them. Don’t worry that it doesn’t completely coat the nuts and bind together. It will do when it has been baked. Evenly spread it out onto a greaseproof sheet on a baking tray.
Bake each tray at 145 degree C / gas mark 1½ for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 100 degrees C/ gas mark 1/2 for a further 15 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you want them to dry out not cook and burn.
Allow the clusters to cool on the tray (or move to a wire tray if you feel they’re already over cooked). Store in an airtight container for a week at room temperature or to store for longer store in the fridge or freezer.