SWEET & SPICY NUTS
There’s something so festive about these Sweet & Spicy Nuts, making them just perfect for the holiday season (and all year round!) The combination of sweetness and spice, paired with the crunchiness of roasted nuts – is sure to tick all craving boxes! And better yet, they are super easy to make!
They take just a few minutes to make and look so fancy! Perfect for a special occasion, pre-dinner nibbles, a gorgeous home-made gift (just pop in a jar or cellophane bag & tie a ribbon round!), or just to have on hand to snack on.
With the abundance of unhealthy sweets, chocolates, crisps and canapés that seem to be everywhere you turn this time of year, these deliciously satisfying nuts will help keep your healthy eating habits on-track over the “challenging” festive season, so you can get to January without feeling like you totally over-did it in the sugar and unhealthy eating department.
Being gluten-free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegan makes these even more of a great choice for guests and/ or gifts alike!
Packed with protein, healthy fats, super nutrients (skin glowing Vitamin E) and spices, these nuts make the perfect snack to keep you going throughout the day.
They’re also full of good fibre to promote satiety and stable blood sugar levels, and won’t leave you hungry and lethargic shortly after (as many highly processed sweet or salty snacks do!).
They also make an ideal post-workout snack, with just a handful or two giving your cells and muscles the perfect dose of protein and healthy fats they need to recover and regenerate.
Adding a little agave syrup to this recipe, adds low GI sweetness with minimal excess calories (and no need for excess oil!), and all the added spices each bring their own health benefits too …
Cinnamon (my all-time favourite!) has been shown to help promote stable blood sugar levels, as well as reduce the risk of diabetes.
Cayenne pepper / chilli (my other all-time favourite, I’m a spice lover!) has been proven to boost metabolism and promote fat-burning, as well as display many other disease-fighting effects.
Cumin has been noted to benefit the digestive system – research in animals indicates that cumin may stimulate secretion of pancreatic enzymes, important in aiding digestion and nutrient assimilation. Another animal study also showed cumin to protect against the development of stomach and liver tumours.
For those with a less spicy palette or if you’re making these for kids, just leave out the cayenne pepper. Even without the spice, the combination of flavours serves to liven up any plain nuts – a perfect way to get kids to eat nuts (think fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and nutrients galore!), who might otherwise not find the “natural” appeal of plain raw nuts too enticing!
I’ve used almonds, cashews and walnuts, but you can use any other nuts you fancy, such as pecans or macadamia nuts.
These Sweet and Spicy Nuts store well in an airtight container for several days (up to a week).
I highly recommend keeping a small ziplock of these in your handbag, car, or desk drawer, to have on hand when those mid-afternoon hunger pangs or sugar-dips strike. You’ll go nuts for these nuts… trust me! 😉
2 cups raw cashews or almonds or walnuts (or any combination of nuts e.g. pecan nuts, or macadamia)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 Tbsp. agave syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. fine sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356F). Line a baking tray with baking/ parchment paper.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients apart from the nuts. Mix together well. Then add 2 cups nuts of choice, and stir well to coat evenly.
Spread nuts in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (making sure they don’t burn!) until browned.
Nuts will be very sticky when they come out the oven, but will “crisp up” once they’ve cooled! Allow to cool completely. Break apart any clusters. Store in an airtight jar/ container. Enjoy!! Happy Holidays x
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