Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Make your own spiced mixed nuts

One of my main failings when it comes to healthy eating is snacking! I love to snack on most things but nuts are my favourite. I love any kind of nuts - peanuts, cashews, brazils, pecans, walnuts, pistachios - you name it! I don't feel guilty about my nut addiction though, because I know that, although nuts are high in calories, they are packed with protein and vitamins and contain little saturated fat. Also, if the claims are to be believed, nuts can also protect us from heart disease. Lots of good reasons to eat them I would say! 

Although the health benefits vary from nut to nut, they are undoubtedly best eaten in their raw state without lots of salt or other additives but I do think they can get a bit boring like that, so I recently had a go at making my own spiced nuts in an attempt to liven them up a bit. I was surprised at how easy and delicious they turned out to be and as I was able to control how much salt and sugar I added I made sure they remained as healthy as possible. Also I reckon they're a lot cheaper than buying an equivalent product from the supermarket. 

All it takes is a few bags of unsalted nuts / seeds, a drop of oil, some spices and about 20 minutes of your time. I've detailed my version below which was inspired by a recipe by Thomasina Miers but a simple Google search will throw up literally hundreds of different varieties to try. Or you could just let your imagination take over and try out your own tasty combinations of nuts, seeds and spices

Spiced Mixed Nuts

150g whole almonds
150g jumbo peanuts
150g cashew nuts
150g pumpkin seeds
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp sunflower oil

1. Put all the nuts and seeds into a dry frying pan and gently toast over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until the nuts turn golden brown. Be sure to stir the mixture constantly to prevent burning.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to ensure the nuts are well coated in the mixture.

3. Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes, turning the nuts over half way through the cooking time.

4. Allow to cool and store in an airtight jar.

1 comment:

  1. I've made these twice, with different nut combos... great recipe! I recommend parchment paper or a silpat on your baking pan, cleaning them off was difficult the first time!


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