Consider, if you would, the almond.
Unassuming, humble, maybe even a bit plain. Every and their best friends eat almonds in something or other; Cookies, salads, casseroles, you name it. They’re nothing new, but I think they deserve a second thought.
Personally, 9 times out of 10 I will be reaching for the super salty almonds over anything else avaliable. Yes, I absolutely am, without a doubt, a cronic and progressive salt-addict. The more I get, the more I want. Sadly, not even canned soups, pumped up with enough sodium to make the Red Sea appear mild, are safe from my special “spice.” Salt shakers are dangerous things in my house; It’s not unheard of to refill it once a week.
But I want to have no guilt over atleast one little snack. Almonds are so chock full of those lovely vitamins and heart-happy essential oils everyone always talks about, it’s just not fair to write them off due to sodium. Not to mention the whallop of protein they cotain into such a small space, which makes them an excellent food for the road or other spots tough to find proper sustinance. Sure, you could always eat them raw, but I just don’t find them flavorful enough to satisfy my palate.
That’s why I turned to my second favorite and far over-used seasoning: Cinnamon! Yes, if it’s not salt, it’s cinnamon. Into oatmeal, cereal, over toast, in bread, english muffins… It really just goes so well with practically every grain. This time, paired with a nut, it proves to retain the same flavor enhancing powers I lust after.
Really, it’s so easy to make these you truly don’t even need to measure. I just want you to try it and see for yourself that wholesome foods don’t need to be complicated or fussy; Nor, do they have to deprive you of a tasty treat.
Maple Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
1 Cup Raw Almonds
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Throw a silpat or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet to prevent the nuts from sticking to the bottom and thusly burning. I prefer using a silpat because it creates less waste, but use whatever you’ve got.
Throw all ingredients into a small bowl and combine thoroughly, being sure to coat all the almonds completely in the syrup and spice. Spread evenly in one layer on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Shake around a bit to flip them over and make sure they aren’t sticking too badly. Bake for another 5 minutes or more, until they turn a slightly darker brown or smell nutty. Careful now – Nuts go from lovely golden to steaming turd in no time flat.
Remove from the oven and immediately take off of sheet, or they will continue to cook. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container.
*Please note that I made a very small batch just to test out my little salt vs. cinnamon theory. You could easily double, triple, or even quadruple the amounts to no ill effects.