Sunday, November 3, 2019

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts

An easy recipe for savory rosemary spiced nuts you can prep & bake in less than 30 minutes. Each bite has an addicting blend of salty, herbaceous, and slightly spicy + sweet flavors. They taste even better the longer they sit, which makes them an excellent option for make-ahead holiday & Christmas food gifts.

For stress-free entertaining, roast these nuts the day before, pile them onto a simple charcuterie board, pour some quick white wine spritzers or sparkling mineral water, and everyone will be happy & fed! (gluten-free with paleo & vegan option)

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts (Easy Holiday & Christmas Food Gift in a Jar)

I roasted a batch of these rosemary spiced nuts about two weeks ago to go with a fall charcuterie board (pictured below) and apple cider sangria, and they're now officially my favorite savory snack (well...after spicy beef jerky).

I love the initial crunchy, toasty, salty kick when I first bite into one but what sets it apart is the background of earthy Rosemary, hot & warm spices (cayenne & cinnamon), and molasses sweetness (coconut sugar + maple syrup).

You'd think the sweetener + cinnamon would come to the forefront, but they don't. It certainly helps that I use Ceylon cinnamon (a.k.a. "true" cinnamon), which has a softer flavor than typical cassia cinnamon (a.k.a. generic cinnamon). Once you switch over from cassia, you'll notice a huge difference!

Instead, these supporting ingredients work together to balance all the flavors collectively so you end up reaching for way more than expected. That's a good thing, right? ;)

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(Note: So many folks add cumin to their herb roasted nuts so I did experiment with adding 1/4 tsp of cumin to a small batch of freezer burnt peanuts I needed to use up - along with all the other ingredients I used here. That's a BIG NOPE for me. It totally overwhelmed all the other flavors.)

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts Recipe (Gluten-Free with Paleo & Vegan Option)

Rosemary is one of my go-to herbs to use in savory recipes (especially with lemon), so this gives me a reason to grab a rosemary "Christmas tree" plant the next time I spot one.

(I bought one last year from Costco but I bet local nurseries have them, too.)

Confession: My rosemary tree from last year was woefully underwatered & neglected, so it didn't last long. However, I've managed to keep my pothos, cactus & succulents alive this year (they're hard to kill - LOL), so perhaps my luck & attention is improving.

With plenty of fresh rosemary on hand, I plan to make double or triple batches of these spiced nuts + my rosemary, thyme & orange flavored salt for Christmas gifts this year. And since they're both foods with a longer shelf life, I don't have to make everything last-minute. Huzzah!

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts Recipe (Salty, Herbaceous, Spicy & Sweet)

What Nuts Are The Best For This Recipe?

Any nut with the shell removed will technically work. Beyond that, you want to make sure it's plain, fresh (not rancid - it will smell stale & "off"), and hopefully also unsalted & raw (not roasted).

Starting with unsalted nuts lets you control the amount of sodium in each batch, but I know they can sometimes be difficult to find in big bags if you live in a small town.

If salted nuts are your only option locally, just omit the salt I called for in the recipe and add more at the end if necessary. Or you can buy some unsalted mixed nuts here through Amazon.

As far as the nuts themselves, I made my own mixture using walnut pieces, pecan halves, and whole cashews. I bought each nut separately in bulk from Costco so I could get the best price per ounce.

(You can read more about how I calculate this in my ten tips for saving money on groceries post.)

Trader Joe's is another good place to find deals on raw nuts. Aldi has some, too, I'm just not sure if their prices are as good as the other two.

Whole Foods & Sprouts both have bulk dry goods sections (along with HyVee if you live in the Kansas City area & Central Market in the Dallas area) where you can get measure out your own nuts.

If you know of another good place to buy nuts locally for a decent price - leave a comment below!

Anyhoo, I bought them individually so I can control what's in my mixed nuts (some blends mostly use the cheap stuff) and use any leftovers for other recipes like easy candied pecans, stovetop candied pecans, or maybe even ranch-flavored mixed nuts.

TIP: Walnuts are the cheapest out of those three I bought, so I used them for the bulk of the mix and added the other two for some variety. I recommend you do the same with whatever ones you choose.

Other nuts to try:

  • peanuts (this is the most budget-friendly option)
  • almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • pistachios 

I personally prefer nuts that are on the softer side so I avoid almonds in snack mixes (love them for almond milk or almond milk creamer, though).

Addicting Rosemary Spiced Nuts (Easy & Healthy Snack Recipe)

How To Make Rosemary Spiced Nuts

This is a super simple recipe, but you want to make sure to do things in the right order so the seasonings adhere to the nuts as best as possible. While the oven's pre-heating:

  • Measure your nuts: I make my own mixed nut blend so I used a measuring cup to portion out 2 cups of walnuts, 1 cup of pecans & 1 cup of cashews. I wanted to stick to this ratio so the nuts would have enough seasoning. I also checked the total on my small digital scale & it was about 1 pound. 
  • Chop the rosemary: Pull the leaves off the woody stems (discard those or save 'em if you know of a thrifty way to repurpose them) and finely chop the leaves. You want them smaller so they have a better chance of sticking to the nuts. They won't all do that, of course. :)
  • Stir together the rosemary, spices & granulated sweetener: You'll add these to the nuts after they've been coated with the butter (or cooking oil) so they adhere properly. Make sure your nuts are room temperature and not cold (some people store nuts in the freezer) otherwise the coconut sugar/brown sugar will clump when it's mixed with the nuts. We don't want this.
  • Melt the butter with the maple syrup: You add the maple syrup in with the butter to warm it a bit and keep the liquid ingredients together. Because it has the maple syrup, you want to take it off the heat after the butter is melted. We don't want to cook the syrup too long otherwise it'll start to thicken. That's good for candied nuts - not for savory ones. We don't want them sticky.
  • Coat the nuts with the liquid ingredients: We do this step first so the spices stick to the nuts. If you added extra nuts or didn't measure very accurately, you may need to add extra cooking oil in this step so the nuts are coated properly. Seasonings don't stick to dry nuts!
  • Toss the nuts with the dry ingredients/seasonings: I use a spatula to get everything mixed well. You could certainly add more seasonings here if you like, just keep in mind that the recipe is designed with a certain ratio so it may affect the overall flavor.
  • Bake the nuts: Spread 'em on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (we don't want them falling off) and bake until lightly toasty & fragrant.
  • Cool & store in an air-tight container: Right out of the oven, these nuts will taste mostly like fresh rosemary + salt. But if you let them sit for at least 3-4 hours (longer is even better) the cayenne, cinnamon & sweetener flavor soaks into the nuts and they taste FABULOUS!

Rosemary Spiced Nuts For a Meat & Cheese Appetizer Platter

Tips For Packaging Up These Spiced Nuts For Homemade Gifts

You have lots of options for containers, but the most important thing is to keep it air-tight. These rosemary nuts have a longer shelf life than some food gifts like cookies, but you want those herbs & spices to stay potent for as long as possible (especially the rosemary)!

My favorite vessels for homemade gifts are small glass jars with either a screw-on lid or hermetically sealed lid (like Weck, Le Parfait, Anchor, or Bormioli). They're eco-friendly, re-usable, and look really nice! Some of my favorites are 4 oz quilted Ball jars5 oz Italian canning jars, or mini mason jar shot glasses depending on how big of a portion I'm giving out to folks. 

If you're shipping this and want something lighter & less fragile, look for sturdy BPA-free plastic instead OR for short-term storage, clear bagswax bags, or kraft paper bags (tell them to transfer it to something air-tight when they receive it).

I typically wrap my glass jars in a bit of hemp cord or red & white cotton twine for a simple accent and label it with a hand-written paper card OR a chalkboard sticker. 

More Easy Homemade Food Gifts You'll Love:

roasted, baked, Christmas, holiday, best, flavored
Yield: 16 servings (1/4 cup each)

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts Recipe (Gluten-Free with Paleo Option)

Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts

prep time: 10 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 25 M
Need an easy snack to serve with appetizers or cocktails? Bake a batch of these savory rosemary spiced nuts in less than 30 minutes. Each crunchy bite has an addicting blend of salty, herbaceous, and slightly spicy + sweet flavors. They taste even better the longer they sit, which makes these spiced nuts an excellent option for Christmas food gifts, hostess gifts during the holidays, or even healthy road trip & game day grub! (gluten-free with paleo option)



How to cook Savory Rosemary Spiced Nuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  2. Measure the nuts into a medium bowl (I used 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup pecans & 1 cup whole cashews). In a separate bowl, add the chopped rosemary, coconut sugar (or brown sugar), cayenne pepper, salt, and cinnamon powder - stir well.
  3. Add the butter and maple syrup to a small skillet set on medium heat. Warm until the butter is just melted (don't leave it on the heat as the maple syrup could start to crystallize). 
  4. Pour the melted butter & maple syrup mixture over the mixed nuts and toss until all nuts are coated. Dump the spice mixture over the nuts and toss well again. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet in one even layer.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes, stir the nuts, then bake for another 8 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted.
  6. Cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and serve the nuts once they've had a chance to sit for several hours to soak up all the flavors from the spices (cinnamon, cayenne, coconut sugar). Trust me, it's worth the wait! 


FRESH + ROOM TEMP NUTS: Nuts can go rancid fairly quickly if not stored properly, so make sure to taste your nuts first to make sure they're still fresh (they will smell & taste "off'" if they're rancid). And if you store your nuts in the freezer to increase their shelf-life, bring them to room temperature first! Otherwise, the granulated sugar will clump when it's mixed with the cold nuts. UNSALTED & RAW: I prefer to use unsalted & raw nuts so I can control the amount of sodium + added oil in the nuts (and ideally use my own good salt + cooking oil). Costco & Trader Joe's are two good places to find nuts like these in bulk. If you can only find salted & roasted nuts, omit the salt in this recipe and add more at the end if needed.

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Tag @therisingspoon on instagram and hashtag it #therisingspoon
Created using The Recipes Generator
Adapted from The New York Time's Rosemary Spiced Nuts

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An easy recipe for savory rosemary spiced nuts you can prep & bake in less than 30 minutes. Each bite has an addicting blend of salty, herbaceous, and slightly spicy + sweet flavors. They taste even better the longer they sit, which makes them an excellent option for holiday & Christmas food gifts, hostess gifts, or even healthy road trip & game day grub! (gluten-free with paleo & vegan option)

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