Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters

This post for Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters is sponsored on behalf of Fisher Nuts. All opinions are my own.

Earlier this year I shared our family’s 15 Things in 2015 list. I made a list of a few things for myself separate from that. Not really resolutions, just things I wanted to be more mindful about for 2015. One of the things that I want to be more mindful about is my health. I’m not unhealthy. I just know there are areas I could do better with.

One area I wanted to be more mindful about is my heart health. The truth is, my blood pressure has gone up a little higher over the last few years and I’m not in as good of cardio shape as I’d like to be in since I haven’t been as dedicated to running over the last year as I used to be.

So, I joined a gym in January like thousands of other people. And I’m actually really enjoying it. I love the group fitness classes and look forward to going a few times every week.

Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters

Another area is snacking smarter – sometimes I get so busy during the day that I forget to make time for a few healthy snacks here and there. Nuts are a great heart healthy snack and they’re pretty easy for this busy mom because they don’t take a lot of preparation or trips to the grocery store for extra ingredients. Gotta love Snacks that Take 5 Minutes or Less!

I love to snack on nuts so I have been making a point to keep some in my gym bag and in the pantry at home. Last week, however, I decided I wanted to make a little healthy nut treat for myself. Something a little sweet when I’m craving that but also not something that is bad for me – so I made these Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters

You can mix up these Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters however you like. Try using different Fisher Nuts, or different combos of seeds and dried fruit. The possibilities are endless. For a hint of spice, you might even try adding some cayenne pepper.

Some other great sweet, but heart healthy snacks are these easy Chocolate Dipped Nuts or these Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts. If you’re craving a savory heart healthy snack, you might give try these  Spicy Rosemary Bar Nuts.

Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time

Salted Vanilla Maple Nut and Seed Clusters make a delicious and heart healthy snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsalted nuts - I used a combo of Fisher's Sliced Almond, Pecan Halves, and Walnuts
  • 1 cup mixed seeds - I used a combo of Chia Seeds, raw unsalted Sunflower Seeds, and raw unsalted sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut chips (or other dried fruits)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 mini muffin tins with liners. Set aside.

Chop the pecans and walnuts into large pieces. Combine all of the nuts, seeds, and coconut in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, vanilla and salt. Pour the syrup over the nut mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed between the clusters. Press down in each liner to tightly compact the nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving. To speed up the chilling process, cool in the refrigerator for 15 - 20 minutes.