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Using spiced nuts as one solution to break my carbohydrate addition

spiced_nuts

I have been on a quest to break my addiction to carbohydrates, for health purposes, due to my fibromyalgia, but also just because an over the top carb intensive diet is not good for me.  Instead of grabbing pretzles as a snack of choice, I have been looking for snacks that taste good, have more nutritional value and will keep my hunger satisfied longer.  Also, this had to be a quick and easy recipe to produce.

On the scene comes a spiced nut recipe that I discovered on Food Network (Emeril’s Spiced Nuts) to be exact.  This particular recipe has been also scaled up and can be found on many, many websites across the internet.  What does that say??  This is good stuff!

Admittedly, the first couple of times I made this recipe, I struggled to get the brown sugar to caramelize and coat the nuts, instead, ending up with clumps of it and not coverage to my satisfaction.  Don’t get me wrong, the stuff is still wonderful, but I wanted something that was easier and would yield a better result.  I was also looking for a solution that someone that is looking for a solution in which someone could produce on site more of the ingredients used in this recipe.  I think that the recipe below is also less sweet than the original recipe, also helping me to work on reigning in my sweet tooth.  The flavors are a little sweet, a little heat and a little savory.

Here is what I came up with after quite a few experimental batches.

Maple Syrup Spiced Nuts

  • 4 cups nuts (pick your favorites – I use a mixture of pecans, almonds, cashews and walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt (if nuts are salted, reduce this to 1/4 – 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Toast the nuts in a pan over low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and you smell the oils starting to release in the nuts.
  2. While the nuts are toasting, in a small bowl wisk together the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper.
  3. When nuts are toasted, add in the maple syrup mix and stir well.  Continue stirring until the maple syrup solution has completely coated the nuts and you no longer see it puddling in the pan.  When the nuts are done, you should only have a few beads of syrup solution here and there in the pan, most of it having been caramelized onto the nuts.
  4. Dump the nuts onto a silicone sheet or piece of parchment paper to cool, breaking apart as they cool.
  5. The nuts can be stored in a container at room temperature or frozen for longer term storage.

I must give you a word of warning.  These nuts are quite addicting and, if left out on the cooling sheet too long, will quickly disappear.  I find that portioning them up into serving size containers and sticking them in the freezer helps me to eat them in more moderation.  Enjoy!

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