Roasted Nuts

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

I think the squirrels are on to something.  Stockpiling nuts sounds like a great idea, if you ask me.  I’m not so sure about hiding them in random places (although it would be quite entertaining to stumble upon a package of nuts stuffed between the couch cushions, or hidden in the linen closet), but making a big batch of nuts will provide a great snack for staving off late afternoon hunger.  Nuts are a perfect antidote to a gumbling tummy; full of protein and fiber, most nuts are full of “healthy” fats which help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol (almonds are the ‘healthiest’ of the bunch, but pecans, walnuts and pistachios are also high in unsaturated fats, which have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol).

Plain nuts, however, are kind of boring.   Perhaps because I only recently became a fan of nuts, I still consider raw, unsalted nuts to be…blah.  However, nuts take on an entirely new appeal once roasted, lightly salted and, even better, dusted with some spices.  The variations are limitless, but I’ve provided a few of my favorite recipes below.  All of these can be tweaked according to taste:  Don’t like spicy foods?  Cut out the cayenne.  Don’t have any smoked paprika?  Skip it, or add some cumin instead.  Hate walnuts but love pecans?  Swap ‘em out.  My only advice:  make twice as many as you think you’ll want; these go fast!

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Spanish roasted almonds with smoked paprika and thyme

Spanish smoked paprika is delicious on roasted nuts, reminiscent of alder smoked nuts, but with a more unique, rich and complex flavor.  If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can substitute hungarian sweet paprika with a bit of toasted cumin.  Thyme adds an interesting twist; you can also use rosemary, just be sure to use fresh (unlike thyme, dried rosemary is too hard and often flavorless)

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Spread out on a baking sheet:

  • 2-3 cups whole almonds, either coarsely chopped or left whole (do not use slivered or sliced almonds)

Spray nuts with olive oil (I use a misto; if you don’t have one, toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil), then sprinkle on:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

Roast for 8 minutes, then remove and stir.  Check every two minutes until they are golden and crisp (about 10-12 minutes total).  Cool completely, then sprinkle with additional salt to taste.

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Moroccan spiced cashews

Photo courtesy Simply Scratch

Photo courtesy Simply Scratch

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350-degrees

Roast the cashews on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silpat baking mat) for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.  Once nuts are roasted, set baking sheet aside (you’ll use it again).
While nuts are roasting, combine honey, oil and spices in a medium saucepan and heat over medium, until honey is thinned.  Once nuts are roasted, add to saucepan and stir until coated. Pour the nut mixture back on the lined baking sheet, and roast another 10- 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and spread out on a fresh sheet of parchment or wax paper, and let cool completely.
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Maple Balsamic Candied Walnuts with Rosemary

Ingredients

  • 3 cups walnut halves
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (do not use dried; if you don’t have rosemary, you can omit from the recipe)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350-degrees

Roast the walnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silpat baking mat) for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.  Once roasted, set baking sheet aside (you’ll use it again)
While nuts are roasting, combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat over medium, until sugar is dissolved.  Once nuts are roasted, add to saucepan and stir until coated. Pour the nut mixture back on the lined baking sheet, and roast another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and spread out on a fresh sheet of parchment or wax paper and let cool completely.
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One response to “Roasted Nuts

  1. Pingback: Nutrition & Snacking Guide For Your Favorite Nuts

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