Apparently it’s good for productivity to take regular breaks from work during the day – which is lucky as I love my coffee/tea breaks and would probably take them anyway. 🙂 Since I like a nibble with my beverage (and that can lead down a dangerous road if you work from home a lot), I am always on the look-out for relatively healthy snack ideas.
I have a really good (and reasonably-priced) supplier of raw nuts so have been experimenting lately with different ways to use them to create yummy bites, and I came up with these honey-roasted nuts. Yes, you can buy something similar but they are ridiculously expensive and not nearly so delicious!
I have tried roasting them with butter and with olive oil, and have decided that I prefer olive oil, partly because it’s healthier and partly because it doesn’t leave such a fatty taste in the mouth. My next step is to try it with coconut oil, which I think should also work very well.
There are many great things about these honey-roasted nuts: they are really quick to make; you can use any nuts or a mixture of them; they are healthy; they keep for a few days (if they last that long); and their flavour can be varied according to your taste and what you have on hand. I have tried them with mustard and with rosemary, and I suspect they might be very nice with dukkah too. If you like some heat, you can add a bit of chilli, and if you prefer them to be entirely savoury, just leave out the honey. Feel free to experiment with other flavours too.
You can double or triple the recipe, but it seems pointless to switch on the oven to make only half a batch. In fact, first prize is actually to make them while you have something else in the oven too, obviously at the same temperature. You just need to remember to watch the nuts like a hawk as they can go from golden brown to burnt in a matter of a couple of minutes.
- 1,5c mixed raw nuts e.g. cashews, almonds, macadamias, peanuts, etc
- 1T olive oil
- 2T honey
- ½t sea salt or Himalayan crystals (I like salt flakes, otherwise use ground)
Optional flavours (pick one or mix them):
- 1t wholegrain mustard
- 1½t fresh rosemary leaves, cut up very fine
- 2t dukkah
- 1t ground cinnamon
- ½t ground cumin and ½t ground coriander
- Chilli to taste, finely chopped or ground
- Anything else you think might work
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a flat baking tray with baking paper. You could just oil it, but the mix becomes very messy when it heats up so it’s nice to be able to just chuck the paper away, rather than scrubbing your baking tray.
Measure the nuts into a biggish bowl.
If you are using fresh herbs or chilli, chop them up very finely.
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, honey, salt and whatever other flavours you are using (I used mustard here).
Pour over the nuts and mix well.
Place nuts, preferably in a single layer, on the baking tray and in the oven.
Cook for 5 minutes then stir – the honey mix should be bubbling.
Then cook for another 5 minutes and stir. Don’t worry about the honey/oil mix, which may be looking a bit burnt around the edges now – just keep your eye on the nuts and keep stirring.
At this point (after a total of 10 minutes), check to see if they are looking nicely browned. If they are, stop there. If not, or if you like your nuts VERY roasted, give them another minute or two at a time – literally. Do not go away and do something else, or you may end up with charred nuts, which is a real waste. Inevitably there will be a few that have gone too far anyway, no matter how careful you’ve been.
When they are done to your satisfaction, carefully remove the whole piece of baking paper from the tray (watch out for the hot honey and oil mix), so the nuts don’t keep cooking from the heat of the tray, and leave them, still on the paper, on a rack to cool.
You may like to eat some when they are still slightly warm, but if you are going to store them, cool them down completely. Then break up the clumps as much as you want (the honey sticks them together), and store in an airtight container.
Then enjoy at your leisure!
© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014