Salty and sweet candied peanuts done the healthy way – no refined sugar, vegan and customizable to your liking. Easy enough to prepare on the go for a quick snack or appetizer.
If there’s one thing I can tell about my colleagues it’s that they’re huge snackers. And while they might not understand my obsession with nut butters – or at least not the three people I told about my rather extensive collection of nut butter jars so far – they do enjoy nuts. I mean: who wouldn’t?? Only a nutty person [could my puns be any more predictable?].
It wasn’t until Christmas time rolled around and with it the appearance of cookie trays, cake and the occasional chocolate santa that I found out my coworkers weren’t immune to the allurance of all kinds of snacks, either. The best day was when a colleague treated the rest of the staff to one of my favourite seasonal sweets: candied nuts. Oh. my. These were some crack nuts. The legal kind.
And then the other week I was introduced to a special variety of these by another colleague on a particularly long day of work: honey-roasted peanuts. Gah. So good. If I remember correctly* [I did] the latter had just the lightest bit of a salty touch to them which – we learned that – made them even more irresistible. Aside from the fact they kept me sane and my brain running they were delicious, too.
*I didn’t see the package prior to eating them as they were already poured into a bowl hence the guess.
Did I say delicious? They were crack. That fact affirmed itself when I snacked on the remainders the next day when the pressure and nerve-wracking tasks were gone [note: staying in the office from 9 AM until somewhere around 11 PM is no fun when you don’t get a mention ahead of time. Or in anyway.]. Actually my fondness of them wasn’t too surprising as I’ve been a huge fan of those sesame-coated almonds sold in Greece – any other Greece vacationers remember them?? – forever already. Hm, looking at the number of varieties of candied nuts I mentioned in this post it looks like the obsession with crack-ed nuts started very early on. We can agree I have quite a long list of nutty memories. Of the edible not the crazy kind.
Anyway, after trying those honey-roasted ones my colleague brought to the office I picked up a bag the next time I was at the store. The ingredient list was surprisingly … long for something this simple:
Cashews, peanuts, sugar, honey [3 %], oil, gelling agent E 414, salt, glucose syrup, colouring.
Honestly?! A whopping three per cent of honey in something bearing it in its name??? Geez. Needless to say I didn’t buy them.
Because that list of the storebought variety was clearly longer than necessary and I knew I could easily roll the vegan way I decided to give it a go myself. In true health nut fashion I obviously had to add a pinch of chia seeds to half of the batch – last minute decision hence the small amount, more next time. But if you don’t have any on hand the nuts are awesome without them already. Also, I went with peanuts because that’s what I had at hand but you could really use any kind of [edible😉 ] nuts you have lying around. The sky’s the limit. If using unsalted nuts I’d recommend sprinkling them with a little bit of sea salt before baking. Either way, you’re in for a treat. Get ready to be addicted.
Healthy Candied Peanuts
- 1 cup (140 g) salted peanuts
- 1 tbsp (10 g) maple syrup
- 1 heaping tbsp (28 g) brown rice syrup
- pinch of cinnamon
- optional: 1 tsp (or more) of chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 325 °F/165 °C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, mix maple and brown rice syrup plus a pinch of cinnamon. Stir very well to combine.
- Add in the peanuts and stir to coat.
- If you’re using chia seeds, add them to half the batch or double the amount for the whole one.
- Spread the nuts evenly on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Watch closely [oven temperatures vary!] an and stir at least once in between.
- Let cool before breaking apart the clusters that have formed!! Hot caramel doesn’t feel good on bare hands. Patience will be rewarded.
- Go wild on the nuts or be social and share. No judgement if you don’t.
If you have yet to discover the magic of candied nuts I’ll wait here while you’re getting active in the kitchen to come back swooing. And addicted. Thank me later. (: Because everybody likes some nuttiness of the good and delicious kind in their lives I’m sharing this with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Lean Lena’s Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Recipes, Tasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday, #glutenfreefridays and The Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.
Happiness-inducing today: Getting a text from my sister asking me to revision an application she’s written. Short story long: She’s older than me and I’ve always admired her for her creativity. That’s why it’s nice to know there are times when we change roles and she tells me she felt better about sending it out if I edited it before.
Stay in touch!
Have you ever had candied nuts?
What are some foods you’ve had a life-long [love/snack] affair or associate special memories with?