I like little bites for pre-feast snacking–just a festive little something to whet the appetite, but leaving plenty of room for a big dinner. This recipe from Eating Well magazine makes the perfect kind of almond for a party: Salty, sweet and laced with smoke. If any remain the next day, savor them over a salad topped with sliced ripe pears and shaved Manchego cheese.
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg white (or homemade vegan egg substitute)
1 tablespoon water
1 pound (about 3 cups) Marcona or raw whole almonds, (see Tip)
1. Preheat oven to 275F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Whisk brown sugar, cumin, paprika, thyme, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Whisk egg white (or substitute) and water in a medium bowl until foamy. Add almonds and stir to coat; pour through a sieve to drain off excess egg white.
3. Transfer the almonds to the bowl of spices; stir well to coat. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake the almonds for 30 minutes. Stir, reduce the oven temperature to 200F and bake until the almonds are dry and golden, about 30 minutes more. Let cool before serving, about 20 minutes.
Tip: Spanish Marcona almonds have recently become more popular and more available. They’re a little flatter than ordinary almonds, with a richer flavor. Always skinned, most Marcona almonds have already been sauteed in oil and lightly salted when you get them. For this recipe, select unsalted and oil-free nuts if you can, though either will work well.
If you’re making them ahead of time, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes 12 servings, 1/4 cup each.
Nutrition per serving: 245 calories; 19 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 12g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 5 g fiber; 99 mg sodium; 5 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin E (30% daily value).
Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 4 fat.
Carbohydrate servings: 1/2.
Visit EatingWell.com for free quick and easy healthy recipe collections!