After a light dinner, I was ready for a yummy snack with a bit of zing to it. I bought a large jar of cashews earlier in the week and they’ve been sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting to be used. As I was sipping on a glass of red wine, I thought immediately of homemade spiced nuts! This recipe is super easy and you can adjust the spice’s measurements to your taste. Cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts and provide a hefty serving of mono-saturated fats, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. They are also packed with high levels of minerals, such as magnesium and copper, which play a large role in building healthy bones. So eat up on those nuts!
Makes 4 cups
Serving size ¼ cup
4 cups raw cashews
3 tbsp sesame seeds
¼- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (depends how much you like cinnamon!)
1/8 tsp cayenne, or less if less heat is desired
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp or less, sea salt
1/8 tsp or less cracked black pepper
1 tbsp xylitol* or 1 tsp brown sugar plus ¼ tsp water
Heat a large, flat skillet on medium to high heat. Add the cashews in an even layer. Shake the pan after 1 minute and then add the sesame seeds. Continue shaking so you don’t burn the nuts. Once you start smelling the nuts toasting, add the spices and sugar. Mix well to incorporate the melted sugar. If using brown sugar and it won’t melt, sprinkle a bit of water in the pan to help. Remove the pan from the heat and pour nuts onto a flat cookie sheet to cool off. Let rest for 15-20 minutes or until completely cooled. I couldn’t wait so I had them warm and are they ever so tasty! A bit on the spicy side, but delish!
*Xylitol is a natural and safe substitute for sugar derived from North American hardwood. It has 40% fewer calories than processed sugar and 75% less carb intake. It also is a low-glycemic sugar. To read more about xylitol, visit www.xylitolusa.com.