The first time I roasted nuts over a fire, they were chestnuts, I was a child, and we forgot to open the flue to our (indoor) fireplace. The entire house filled with smoke, complete with fire alarms and a few hours of open windows in sub-freezing December weather.
Well, that was the last time we attempted home-roasted nuts in a fireplace.
These days, I make it a little easier. Toasting your own nuts at home is so simple! Really easy. Just spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for however long you need to make them completely perfect–for me, it’s 15 minutes at 350F. I love to munch on raw nuts, but roasting them brings out deeper, more complex flavors. The best part, though, is that when you roast your own nuts at home, you can flavor them however you like. Oh, yes. We get a little crazy over here sometimes–maple syrup, seasonings of all kinds, shredded coconut…you name it, I’ve put it on nuts.
Anyway, as I’ve gradually changed my diet over the past few years, I’ve replaced more processed snacks (like Goldfish crackers…yes, I was an addict) with other snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. As a mostly-vegetarian, I like to have nuts around the house to make sure I’ve getting regular sources of protein, although we don’t make a big deal about it. We eat lots of nuts and seeds as well, and I like to crush nuts over salads and pasta dishes. Yummy.
This time of year, I’m really loving homemade roasted nuts with warm flavors that remind me of Christmas. But we’re in the desert southwest, friends, so this year I’ve incorporated some southwestern flavors in my holiday snacking nut selection.
This version is a mix of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans, and it’s seasoned with maple syrup, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt. The sweet-salty combo is divine and a little spicy with the chili powder and cumin. These are SO good and we’ve even been crushing them and putting them on salads. So tasty!
I bet a jar of these would make a lovely gift for a healthy snacker, as well. Of course, you should include the recipe, too. 🙂
Delicious, easy, homemade roasted nuts with southwestern sweet, spicy, and salty flavors.
- 4 cups mixed nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add nuts to a medium/large bowl. In a separate container, stir the spices into the maple syrup and olive oil.
Pour the maple/olive oil/spice mixture over the nuts and toss until they're evenly coated.
Spread the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.