Walnut-Blueberry Oatmeal Energy Bites

1 cup California walnuts pieces, toasted (250 mL)
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (250 mL)
1 cup uncooked oatmeal, regular or quick-cooking (not instant) (250 mL)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (125 mL)
1/3 cup maple sugar (75 mL)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (5 mL)
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (0.5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/2 cup dried blueberries (125 mL)
1/4 cup maple syrup (50 mL)
3 tbsp olive oil (45 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
2 tbsp boiling water (30 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine walnuts, flour, oatmeal, coconut, maple sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir with a fork or whisk until completely mixed. Add blueberries and stir to combine.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, olive oil and butter. Stir until the butter melts.

In a small bowl, add baking soda to the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add to the syrup mixture and stir to blend; it will become very bubbly. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir vigorously to combine.

Using a tablespoon and your hands, scoop pieces of dough and press them into walnut-sized balls. On the prepared cookie sheets, place dough about 2 inches apart (5 cm). With your fingers or the palm of your hand, flatten each ball slightly into a puck shape.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and are golden brown around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 cookies.

Tip: Toasting Walnuts

– Baking: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently.

Stovetop: Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

PER SERVING: about 120 cal, 2 g pro, 7 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 13 g carb, 2 g fibre, 3 mg chol, 79 mg sodium.

Recipe and image courtesy of the California Walnut Commission. For more recipe ideas and information about the health benefits of walnuts, visit www.walnutinfo.com.

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More spring sweets:

Cherry Vanilla Slab Pie
Almond Orange Cookies
Dried-Fruit Cookies with Cinnamon
Walrus Bars
Chocolate Bunnies

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