Nuts are some of the healthiest snacks around when enjoyed in moderation. Making a batch of these bad boys is easy, with a major flavor payoff. Just preheat the oven, mix together nuts and a few in-your-pantry-already ingredients, spread it all out on a sheet pan, pop it in the oven and, 20 minutes later, you’ve got cocktail nuts better than any you could buy. They’re beautifully caramelized, addictively spicy and fragrant. Try to wait until they’re cool enough to eat. Just try.
Maple Mesquite Walnuts
- 1 pound (454g) raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons mesquite meal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup (170g) maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a bowl, stir together the maple syrup, spices, vanilla and mesquite. Add the walnuts and toss to coat. Spread the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast until the maple caramelizes and the nuts are golden, roughly 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Nuts will crisp as they cool.
Serves: 16 | Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 219; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 57mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 4g
Turmeric Cashews with Nori
- 2 cups (300g) raw cashews
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 8-by-8-inch sheet nori seaweed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
Combine the cashews with the oil and salt and toast in a 350ºF (177ºC) oven for 5–10 minutes, or until golden, tossing once along the way. Remove the cashews from the oven and toast the seaweed for a few minutes, just until barely fragrant. Allow the seaweed to cool and crisp, then crumble it with your hands. Combine the seaweed, sesame seeds and cayenne in a mortar and pestle, and grind together to make a nice powder. Next, in a stain-resistant bowl, toss the cashews with the sesame spices and turmeric. I find that hands are best for this, but be prepared for them to turn a bit yellow from the turmeric. If you need to add a few drops of sesame oil, do so to moisten things up a bit and to help the spices and seaweed stick to the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 346; Total Fat: 26g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 15g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 143mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 10g
Sweet + Spiced Mixed Nuts
- 1 cup (150g) blanched almonds
- 1 cup (150g) pecans
- 1 cup (150g) walnuts
- 1/4 cup (30g) shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup (113g) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350°F (177ºC). Toss all ingredients in a medium bowl to evenly coat nuts. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or a large cast-iron pan and roast, tossing occasionally, until nuts are toasted and maple syrup caramelizes, 20–25 minutes.
Transfer to a sheet of parchment and spread in an even layer, breaking up to prevent clusters from forming. Let cool.
Serves: 12 | Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 264; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 10g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 255mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 6g