It’s officially winter! There is snow on the ground and it’s cold. It seems that in Colorado, summer lingers and even fall stays warm, with a few days of cold to remind us that winter is around the corner. And then one day, it hits and winter settles in for a while. Not like in the mid-west, but enough so that you know it’s time for the holidays to arrive. This year has been a little different for us as a family. We’ve had more official parties and not quite as many spontaneous get-togethers with friends. It’s been busy, sometimes challenging with different schedules, but just in case a friend gets the urge to stop by, I’ve kept some spiced nuts on hand. You never know when someone might pop over and a few nuts and a bottle of wine will be just the thing to take the chill off.
It’s really easy to pull out a tub of nuts from the pantry, and I don’t have anything against that at all, but sometimes it’s especially nice to elevate that experience just a little bit. I think it lets your friends know that they are special, that they are worth that extra step, and for this reason, I’ve worked on a recipe that makes everyone feel warm inside, but that is so simple that it can be pulled together quickly. Almost at the last minute.
Whatever nuts you like will probably work well here. I usually add cashews to the mix but on picture day, I had run out so pecans and almonds made the cut. There are all kinds of spiced nut recipes out there and I know it can be hard to choose, but I’ve been hooked on these for a while now and find that they appeal to many different palates. The egg white might seem like a strange component, but it’s the best secret! It creates a light, crispy coating on the outside that sort of reminds me of what tempura does to veggies. I think it might be what makes these so special.
I hope you enjoy this spicy-sweet combination so much that you share it with friends, family, and maybe even strangers. If you make any changes (I’ve been considering adding something herbaceous next time), please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear!
about 3 cups of mixed raw nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, whatever you like best)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil melted
2 1/2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg white
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place nuts in a large bowl.
- Melt coconut oil in a small bowl and mix spices and salt into the bowl.
- Pour, or scoop, the spices and oil onto the nuts, including sprinkling the coconut sugar on.
- Mix well – either using a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Taste to determine if more spices or more nuts are necessary to make this perfect for you.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg white until frothy and then add to the nuts.
- Mix very well. Then keep mixing. You want to ensure that everything is evenly coated.
- Spread nuts on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and continue baking for 10 minutes.
- After about 25 minutes, bake in 5 minute intervals, stirring, until done to your desired darkness. This can vary, but watch carefully as nuts can burn quickly.
- Remove to a cool place – a bowl or counter. They will crisp up as they cool. Taste, share, and enjoy!