These Sweet and Spicy Toasted Nuts are the perfect last minute gift! Don’t get me wrong, cookies are wonderful and make great edible gifts too, but spiced walnuts or pecans last for weeks rather than days and can be enjoyed in so many ways – as a snack, tossed on salads (see bonus recipe below), added to a fruit and yogurt parfait, or paired with dried fruit and cheese like these Pomegranate and Pistachio Mini Goat Cheese Balls as part of a charcuterie board.
Honey, Spice, and Everything Nice
If you enjoy spicy honey, you will love these Sweet and Spicy Toasted Nuts! With ingredients like honey, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, they’re just sweet enough and perfectly spiced.
Personally, I enjoy spicy foods, but not to the point of discomfort. For those of you who have trouble handling spicy things, not to worry! You can simply adjust the seasonings in this recipe to your liking.
Like I said earlier, these nuts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. My personal favorite is adding them to salads for an added crunch and nutrient boost. They are perfection on this Strawberry Avocado Salad!
Whether you choose to use walnuts or pecans, these spiced nuts, along with my Pomegranate and Pistachio Mini Goat Cheese Balls, are the perfect addition to my Winter Fruit Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad. See below for the recipe!
Winter Fruit Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad
To make this absolutely gorgeous, nutrient dense Winter Fruit Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad, simply combine the following ingredients:
Grapefruit or orange slices
Sweet & Spicy Toasted Nuts
Mint leaves (optional)
Maple Dijon Dressing*
*To make the Maple Dijon Dressing combine: 3 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste
Fit NUTritious and Delicious Nuts Into Balanced Diet
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin E and provide many health benefits. This recipe calls for walnuts or pecans, and both, though different in nutrient composition, provide beneficial nutrients and can fit into a balanced diet.
Walnuts are rich in ALA omega 3 fatty acid, contain melatonin, have anti-inflammatory benefits, and may have cognitive benefits. Pecans, though higher in fat and calories than walnuts and many other nuts, are rich in LDL cholesterol lowering properties and are higher in polyphenols and flavonoids than any other tree nut. Check out section 8 of 8 Dietitian Approved Pantry Staples You Should Always Have on Hand for more info on the health benefits of nut consumption!
More recipes that contains walnuts or pecans: Mixed Berry Crumble, Strawberry Avocado Salad, Winter Fruit Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad, Cran-Apple Ginger Crumble, Pear Apple Crumble, Magic Trailblazer Bars
What’s in This Recipe?
Butter – provides flavor
Honey – natural sweetener, contains antioxidants, prebiotics, and a variety of vitamins and minerals
Walnuts or pecans – both nuts contains vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and plant based protein; walnuts are high in ALA omega 3 fatty acids which have a variety of health benefits, pecans contain cholesterol-lowering properties
Cinnamon – antioxidant properties, may help lower blood sugar
Cayenne pepper – adds spice
Notes: This recipe is naturally gluten free. You could easily make this recipe vegan* and dairy free by replacing the regular butter for vegan butter and the honey for maple syrup.
Sweet and Spicy Toasted Nuts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Total time: 20-22 minutes
1 tbsp. unsalted butter*
2 tbsp. honey*
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz) raw walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 400oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Stir in the honey and spices until fully combined.
Next, add the nuts to the butter mixture. Stir until the nuts are well coated
Transfer the coated nuts to the lined baking sheet and toast for 7-8 minutes.
Remove the toasted nuts from the heat and stir using a silicone spatula (the honey butter mixture will be liquid) every 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to harden.
Allow the nuts to fully cool before breaking them apart. Store cooled nuts in an airtight container.