Nuts are a secret weight loss weapon – studies show their filling effect can help you maintain your weight after dieting; great if you’re slimming down for little black dress season.
They’re also highly nutritious, packed with protein, unsaturated fats, fibre and a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protective phytochemicals. Although be warned – they are still high in fat and calories.
Cooking with nuts is a great way to exercise portion control. This delicious panforte makes an impressive chewy Christmas treat. Go nuts!
Makes 20 slices
- A few sheets of edible wafer paper or rice paper
- 100g blanched almonds * toasted
- 75g skinned hazelnuts * toasted
- 100g pecans *
- 100g Brazil nuts *
- 50g goji berries *
- 50g sunflower seeds *
- 100g pistachios * shelled
- 100g dried cranberries *
- 175g plain flour *
- 2 tsp mixed spice *
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g clear honey * or agave nectar *
* Available at Holland & Barrett
Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with wafer or rice paper. In a large bowl, combine all the nuts, seeds and fruit. Stir in the flour and spices and set aside.
Put the icing sugar and honey in a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat slightly and continue cooking until it turns a light caramel colour. Pour over the nut and flour mixture and mix very well until it is all combined. It will get very thick and stiff, but keep turning slowly.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down to make sure it is level. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, then turn out on a wire rack and leave until cold. Cut into slices with a serrated knife and layer in a tin with sheets or wafer or rice paper.
Love baking? Discover some unusual cooking ingredients in our nutrition section.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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