I think I strategically put up a pumpkin post in September so that I could squeeze in 2 pumpkin-themed posts before Halloween this year. 🙂 Although the recipe below doesn’t actually contain pumpkin, it has the pumpkin spice blend that gives fall such a wonderful aroma. It’s hard not to appreciate all that fall brings (even the wind and rain) when these are baking in the oven and that sweet spicy smell permeates through the home. Already in the first half of October I have had my inaugural pumpkin spice latte, roasted countless squashes, been to a pumpkin patch where I picked my own pumpkin and wandered through a chicken-riddle-filled corn maze, carved a “scary” bat jack-o-lantern, and drank several varieties of pumpkin beer. I take my seasons seriously!
These candied and spiced nuts are the perfect addition to all the fall adventures. With just the right amount of sweet, salty, and spice, they give the common handful of nuts some pizzazz. Yet they still have the wonderful and beneficial protein, nutrients, and healthy fats that almonds, pecans, and sesame seeds provide on their own. These little treats have been my go-to snack at school, post-workout, and even at the recently viewed Gone Girl (highly recommended btw). My friend described them as tasting like caramel corn, so that is obviously a good thing. I can’t say these are a replacement for fake butter movie popcorn, but they may be a healthier and tastier alternative to some of the other ridiculously priced treats at the theater!
I made two versions of this recipe, and posted the latter below. In my first trial, I omitted the extra cane sugar and used less salt and spice, but I have to say that in this case, the more the better. Although you could leave out the sugar and just use maple syrup, the extra tablespoons of cane sugar provide a gooeyness (caramel corn) factor that is well worth it. I highly encourage being generous with the spices, and feel free to mix it up if there are other flavors you want to try. I’ve heard that cayenne is a fun addition if you can handle the heat! One last note- due to the spices, these are best enjoyed after a day of sitting in a tupperware because the aromatic compounds mingle together and produce an even better, combined flavor. But I don’t blame you if you eat them right out of the pan either! 🙂
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- coconut oil for greasing pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together maple syrup through nutmeg.
- Combine almonds, pecans, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl, toss with syrup mixture, and coat nuts well.
- Lightly grease rimmed baking sheet or pan with coconut oil or butter and then spread the syrupy nut mixture on the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then stir, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool completely and then use spatula or fork to separate nuts and transfer to a bowl or tupperware. Enjoy immediately, or even better, over the next couple of days!